ESP Assessment Centre Upgraded

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (centre), cuts the ribbon to open the $86-million upgraded Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) Assessment Centre, located on Hanover Street, in downtown Kingston, Friday (March 3). Others (from left) are Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney; Social Protection and Health Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Donna Harris, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts Risden. In the background (from left) are Director for the ESP, Antonica Gunter-Gayle; Opposition Spokesman on Labour and Social Security, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, and Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dione Jennings.

Story Highlights

  • The Government has upgraded the Kingston facility responsible for assessing special needs children, at a cost of $86 million.
  • Located at 95 Hanover Street, the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) Assessment Centre now has a multipurpose complex and provides more services to the children.
  • While commending the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for providing the funds for the upgrading, Mrs. Robinson said they have been key development partners in the country’s move to provide social protection for persons in need.

The Government has upgraded the Kingston facility responsible for assessing special needs children, at a cost of $86 million.

Located at 95 Hanover Street, the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) Assessment Centre now has a multipurpose complex and provides more services to the children.

Operating under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the ESP caters to the developmental needs of children with disabilities up to six years, and presently serves a population of more than 1,500, across the island with early stimulation and interventions.

“This modern centre represents and provides a new lease on life for children with disabilities, whose well-being and welfare will be further enhanced,” said portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, while addressing the handover ceremony for the improved facility, today (March 3).

The Minister noted that clients of the ESP will be obtaining expanded professional and intervention services, as there will be improved administration of a range of home-based visits, parenting workshops and counselling.

She added that more resources will be allocated to other agencies serving children with special needs.

 

Mrs. Robinson said research has shown that children with special needs who receive proper care and support during the early ages of their lives have a greater chance of becoming healthier and productive adults.

“At the Ministry, we are seeking to make inclusion of the vulnerable a reality, through this investment at the ESP. We are working to actualise the right of every Jamaican with disabilities to develop to their maximum potential, as mandated by our Disabilities Act,” the Minister said.

While commending the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for providing the funds for the upgrading, Mrs. Robinson said they have been key development partners in the country’s move to provide social protection for persons in need.

JIS Social