The Minister for Investment, Innovation and Social Development (II&SD), Hon. Andre Ebanks and Parliamentary Secretary (Social Development) Ms Heather Bodden undertook an initial ministerial tour of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on Wednesday, 12 May 2021.
Based on 2nd Floor Apollo House East on Mary Street, DCFS George Town offices house senior management, social workers and finance and administrative staff.
The Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary were accompanied by Chief Officer Eric Bush; Deputy Chief Officer Andrea Fa’amoe; Senior Policy Advisor Stacie Sybersma; and Policy Advisor Ashlyn Goubault-Ebanks. Messrs. Ebanks and Bush addressed assembled staff advising them of the support and collaborative relationship they want to build with DCFS.
“We want to provide you with the focused ministerial support DCFS needs so, in turn, DCFS is more equipped to assist, enhance and socially develop the lives of the clients we serve. We therefore rebranded the subject area as Social Development to be more reflective of this core purpose,” the Minister said.
“This is introducing a completely new ethos and chapter to bring social work and social assistance into the 2020s. We welcome the opportunity to work with each and every one of you to make the lives of those we serve better,” he added.
Escorted by DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams and Deputy Director Rayle Roberts, the group greeted staff and were shown the facilities including meeting rooms and office space.
Following the meet and greet with finance and admin staff, community development workers and social work teams, the group met with Senior Management Staff. An overview of shared objectives between ministry staff in terms of policy, communications and government priorities and DCFS operational considerations ensued. The Department of Children and Family Services work to improve the lives of its clients in all stages of life through education and empowerment. Operations include residential programmes, mediation, child safeguarding, disaster preparedness assistance, senior social activities, adoption, and foster care.
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