Ministry continues to do well on its promise that no one will be left behind

20th October, 2020, Port-of-Spain --- During a tour of the affected households in Chase Village last Saturday – October 17, Senator, the Honourable Donna Cox, Minister of Social Development and Family Services, took the opportunity to remind the media, that her Ministry continues to do well on its promise that no one will be left behind. 

According to the Minister, since joining the Ministry, she has established several internal mechanisms for a more responsive, customer-focused and expeditious approach to the delivery of social services.  Among these include placing the National Family Services Division (NFSD) at the forefront of the Ministry; since most of the challenges being faced by the vulnerable affect the family as a unit. In this regard, in response to most issues surrounding natural or man-made disasters, as well as other poverty-related circumstances; Officers of the NFSD will interview the entire family and then make necessary referrals to the delivery arms of the Ministry. This approach, the Minister believes will bring more structure to the Ministry’s response, taking a holistic look into the family situation and in finding a solution.

In speaking with the media, Minister Cox also took the opportunity to confirm that several cases highlighted in the media recently, have been taken up by staff of the Ministry, including that of Samantha Liverpool, a Mt Lambert mother who lost her job during the pandemic, and has been evicted for not paying rent. Liverpool informed the Ministry that she was evicted, but most of her belongings, as well as her son’s school supplies are still in the apartment. The Ministry has since assessed Ms. Liverpool for both the rental assistance grant, as well as COVID-19 income and food support grants.  Though she does not meet the criteria for COVID-19 rental support, the Ministry has offered support under the normal rental assistance.

In response Ms. Liverpool has expressed that she feels quite satisfied by the Ministry’s intervention and is grateful for the assistance during these challenging times.  According to the Minister: “The Ministry continues to support Ms. Liverpool and her son and is committed to resolving her plight in the shortest possible time”.

The Minister also told the media that in order to ensure service excellence in delivery, the area of smart and efficient customer relations is a major focal point for the Ministry at this time, “And we continue to make great strides with all frontline staff”.  Minister Cox ended the interview by confirming the Ministry’s support for the most vulnerable, not only in the distribution of grants and services, but in providing counselling and psychosocial support towards helping, empowering and transforming lives.

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