Ministry of Social Development and Family Services warmly welcomes Senator the Honourable Donna Cox

Port of Spain--- Newly appointed Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox, received a warm welcome today as she assumed her new portfolio in the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services at the Ministry’s Head Office in Port of Spain.

On hand to greet the Minister was Permanent Secretary Mrs Jacinta Bailey-Sobers, Acting Permanent Secretary Ms Sheila Seecharan and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr Vijay Gangapersad.

Minister Cox brings extensive experience in the fields of communications and the public service to her new appointment. She was the Parliamentary representative for Laventille East/Morvant from 2007 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2015. She served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs from 2007 to 2008 and Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security from 2008 to 2010. Before her appointment to this Ministry, she served as the Minister of Communications.

While speaking with members of the media today, Minister Cox said she was pleased with her new assignment, because she will be leading the charge in helping, empowering and transforming lives of the vulnerable in our society. She acknowledged the phenomenal work that was achieved by her predecessors at the Ministry during the last five years, inclusive of the work that has been on-going to bring immediate and holistic relief to those most in need; particularly during this period of social and economic uncertainty.

While she admitted that she was fortunate to have a solid and credible foundation on which to expand on, Minister Cox was as equally quick to highlight the critical importance of this Ministry in Trinidad and Tobago’s national recovery efforts. Additionally, Minister Cox said among her first order of business will be to focus on making quick and efficient access to the Ministry’s grants and services available to the citizenry. In this regard, the digitization of the grants and social services system will be of utmost importance, because according to the Minister: “People in need cannot wait.”

The Minister also acknowledged that the Ministry recently launched an Internal Values, Attitudes and Behaviours (VABS) Campaign, which will assist the staff in becoming more client-centred.

She therefore looks forward to the implementation of the National VABs campaign at the cusp of the commemoration of our country’s 58th anniversary of Independence. This she feels will signal a call to the nation that we are all in this together and will be equally instrumental in taking our citizenry back to its civic roots. The Minister ended by indicating that there is need to revitalize a sense of national pride, innovation and resilience in our country; and believes that this will assist in transforming the culture of dependency into one of sustainability.

The Executive and staff of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services look forward to working closely with Minister Cox in all efforts to positively transform the lives of the people of Trinidad and Tobago through the provision of quality social services.

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