The Social & Community Development Committee met on Wednesday, 8 November 2017, to discuss a number of issues.
A paper on fees & charges was brought before the Committee. As this had implications for at least one other Council Committee it was agreed that a cross-committee discussion would be arranged. The fees & charges for review include: Liquor Licences, Gaming Machines, Companies Registry Work, Trade Marks, Patents and Archives Research.
An increase of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) was considered and the Committee was pleased to endorse proposals so that the matter could be referred to the next meeting of Executive Council for approval. The Committee also noted that it is proposed in future to have a twice-yearly assessment of the MIS.
A proposal for the Welfare of Children (Children's Residential Home) Regulations was considered and approved. This will now enable the draft regulations to be submitted to Executive Council for approval. Currently, the Welfare of Children's Ordinance deals with the requirements that a privately run Children's Home must comply with, but there are no specific provisions for a Children's Home run by the Safeguarding Directorate. The Safeguarding Directorate is anxious that action be taken to fill this gap in the legislation.
The Safeguarding Directorate continues to support a large number of people in the community and in residential care. Children Services are developing policy and practice to support Fostering Services on St Helena and there will be public engagement around fostering in the New Year. The team are also currently working alongside the Police to consider how an early help and preventive youth service can be provided to support the young people living on St Helena.
Adult Services are in the process of reviewing all the needs of people living in the various residential establishments to ensure that we have the correct staff and support in place to care and support these people. The directorate is currently developing accredited training and development pathways for all staff.
Among other matters, the Committee noted that the public meetings on the Marriage Bill, the Domestic Abuse Bill and the Welfare of Children (Employment of Children) (Amendment) Ordinance had been completed. The feedback will be collated and a decision on next steps will be decided.
The Social & Community Development Committee comprises Councillors Anthony Green (Chairman), Cyril Leo (Deputy Chairman), Kylie Hercules, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick. The non-voting member is the Director of Safeguarding. The Committee's Secretary is Miss Nicole Plato.
Source: St Helena Government