It is heartwarming to be here today as we celebrate the new beginning of a truly community centered programme.

Developing the Independent Living Programme has been a collaborative initiative; and on behalf of the
Government of Bermuda, I would like to thank the Department of Child and Family Services, The Ministry of Public Works, The Bermuda Housing Corporation and highlight our Community Resources in the Departments of Education, Financial Assistance, Workforce Development, Bermuda College, HSBC, and the Mirrors

In 2020, the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors committed to developing this programme as a Throne
Speech initiative and in 2021/22 we received budget allocation to move forward with development.

All involved in this project have been diligently working to bring this vision to life, and today as we ‘cut the ribbon’ to signify this new beginning, we can do so knowing that this programme is the first of its kind whereby the Government is providing a lifeline and safety net to young adults ageing out of the care of the Director of DCFS and affording them the best opportunity for success as they transition into adulthood.

This valuable housing programme will provide guidance, support and allow our young adults to obtain the necessary life skills to be productive, self-sufficient, and
independent citizens.

Typically for most of our young adults, when they turn 18 they do not have to think about where they will live post
their 18th birthday. For most of us, we recognise that at age 18, although legally an adult, our young adults still

need nurturing and guidance into adulthood before actually leaving their ‘safety net.’ While some children in the Care of the Director of DCFS have this ‘safety net,’ whether it’s through foster parents who have cared for them and choose to keep them in their household into adulthood, or other familial support, some do not have this ‘safety net.’
Not all foster parents or families are in a position to provide this opportunity, and for the children in Residential Care, they often have no other options when
family or others cannot take them in.

For these young adults, they are in a vulnerable position and historically this time of transition has been stressful
and at times damaging to those who do not have the family or other significant foundation to guide and support them into adulthood.

Through the Independent Living Programme, the Government has committed to empowering these young
adults..The Programme has been developed in alignment with the
Council of Accreditation Standards, and the Coordinator, Mrs. Charmaine Richardson, has obtained Certification as
an Independent Living Specialist.
The Independent Living Programme is a 24 hour secure and staffed facility which has capacity for up to 12 young adults for a maximum of 2 years, and they will  participate in:

 Life Skills Groups
 Guided Goal Setting
 Advocacy
 Educational Planning
 Community Engagement
 Peer Support and;
 Individual Counseling
The Life Skills Groups include:
 Money Management such as consumer awareness,
opening bank accounts, budgeting, understanding
credit, ATM’s and online banking
 Food Management such as cooking, shopping, meal planning, following recipes, and ordering in a restaurant
 Personal Appearance such as grooming, hygiene, and appropriate attire for workplace and community
 Health such as scheduling medical and dental appointments and the importance of medical insurance
 Housekeeping
 Job Maintenance/Sustainability
 Emergency and Safety Skills

Knowledge of Community Resources
 Interpersonal Skills and Healthy Relationships
 Legal Knowledge
 Spirituality
 Volunteering and;
 Leisure Activities
Bermuda, this a transformational moment in history, and we look forward to our young adults being empowered
and encouraged to contribute positively to our community.

Once again, thank you to every person, organisation and the community who has contributed, and will continue to
contribute, to the success of the Independent Living Programme.

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