"Youth at risk" means if we don't deal with them in primary school, we get to deal with them after they murder shop keepers in Little Dix. Unfortunately, a decision has been taken at the highest level to deal with the symptoms instead of the problems. All claims to the contrary are lies, like transparency at Social Security. Look at what our leaders do, not what they say.
The bright star in this mess is the WISE programme at the Cottage Hospital. Even with the increased budget, it is vastly underfunded, and unable to accommodate the hundreds of young people who need its services.
The Place 2 Be has a truly excellent programme for helping primary school children deal with problems. They, too, come and gone in
All what they left behind is a Minister who offers the excuse that he's on a learning curve. A minister of education is not expected to be an expert in educational psychology and the intricacies of classroom techniques, any more than the administrator of the Health Authority has to be a brain surgeon. His job is to listen to the advice of those who have spent a lifetime learning specialised skills, and work with these experts to bring better services to the people. Even a minister who works a four day week should have time to tell the Permanent Secretary, "OK - let's go for it!" What we are lacking is leadership.