Social Development Ministry hosts workshop for Social Welfare Board Members

Permanent Secretary Jacinta Bailey-Sobers addresses members of the Social Welfare Boards and staff of the Social Welfare Division during the Ministry’s Workshop at NESC, Chagaunas

Board Members, Supervisors, Directorate and other Staff of the Social Welfare Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services met on Monday 11th February, 2019 at the National Energy Skills Center (NESC) Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas to examine and discuss critical matters related to the effective functioning of the Boards located across Trinidad and Tobago.

The session was also attended by Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr Vijay Gangapersad, Director (Ag.) of the Social Welfare Division, Mr Troy Pollonais and Permanent Secretary Jacinta Bailey-Sobers, who delivered remarks on behalf of Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn.

“You are an important part of the Ministry’s nation-wide team of brand ambassadors, who are responsible for effecting meaningful change within our society and consequently, our economy” said PS Bailey-Sobers. “Yours is a position of leadership that must be continually exposed to new concepts and thinking to build the necessary capacity required for social justice and equality and for the transformations in the delivery of services which we wish to engineer as a Ministry.”

PS Bailey-Sobers also took the opportunity to highlight the achievements of the Ministry some of which would have required the input and cooperation from the Social Welfare Division including the transitioning of 29,067 households to the new Food Support Programme, and the implementation of the Standards Means Test (SMT) for additional transparency in the assessment of prospective clients of the MSDFS.

Director (Ag.) of the Social Welfare Division, Mr. Troy Pollonais, also addressing participants, encouraged them “to continue supporting each other, as well as, the work of the staff at the local district boards.”

The workshop covered a range of topics including sensitization of Board Members on their role and responsibilities within the Local Board; broader understanding of the Senior Citizens Pension, Public Assistance (Disability Assistance Grant) Acts, Food Support Grant and the Standard Means Test, to aid in effective and efficient decision making; streamlining of processes within the Social Welfare Division; understanding of the legal implications of the decision making process and discussion on ‘the way forward’.

The workshop also presented participants with the opportunity to provide feedback and express their concerns through the various question and answer segments.

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services as the core government institution for the delivery of social services is responsible for enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago through the provision of social services and programmes.

This workshop was yet another step towards achieving the Ministry’s’ mandate of helping empowering and transforming lives that would result in an enhanced delivery of social services across the nation

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