The Drug Education and Counselling Services (DECS) has scored a 98 per cent success rate during the 12 years or so in which it has been helping young people to overcome drug-related and behavioural problems.
DECS Chairman Roger Husbands disclosed this when he was recently presented with a cheque from CIBC FirstCaribbean to further the organization’s work. Husbands added that the success rate was based on the number of past clients who did not return to their destructive behaviours.
The non-governmental organization caters to young people with addictions such as drugs and gambling, those who have anger management and other behavioural problems, as well as those involved in family conflicts or gang activity.
Husbands explained that institutions including the Magistrate’s Courts, the Probation Department and education institutions such as the Edna Nicholls School, referred young offenders and those at risk of offending to the DECS. However, he added that parents also used the DECS’ walk-in facilities to get their children registered for its programmes.
CIBC FirstCaribbean donated $10,000 to the organization to help further its work.
Managing Director for Barbados Donna Wellington said CIBC FirstCaribbean was conscious that programmes aimed at preventing anti-social behaviour as well as those that focus on rehabilitating offenders, especially young ones, were important to maintaining a safe and productive society.
“The high number of media reports recently of missing children and teenaged problems including sexual abuse of young people by those older, who preyed on youthful vulnerabilities or economic status, were in part instrumental in the decision to make this donation,” said Wellington.
Husbands said the donation would go towards meeting the DECS’ $100,000 annual operating budget which finances rent, utilities, salaries, maintaining and developing programmes as well as hosting retreats for the young people.
He said the organization’s counsellors were mandated to work for six months with a six month break to “recharge themselves”.
He pointed out that parents were also counselled and were involved in the programmes to ensure that the clients had adequate home support. (PR)