Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler
National Assistance Board (NAB) employees have been challenged to carry out their duties with love, empathy and professionalism, if Barbados is to maximise on the major investment being made in the social services sector.
This appeal has come from Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler, who has charged: "Every dollar that we spend in social services must be well spent, because we only have one chance to get it right!"
Minister Sinckler, who was addressing a staff graduation ceremony at the Savannah Hotel, told graduands that with better skills and training, they would be able to perform their duties, with higher levels of efficiency and productivity.
He, however, cautioned: "Empathy for the poor is absolutely critical. Training can only get you half way, if you do not have empathy and love in your heart for the clients you serve on a daily basis, it will not get you there."
The Social Care Minister also made the point that with an ageing population of approximately 18 per cent of Barbadians over the age of 60, the longer persons lived, the greater the burden on the state and on families to care for them.
He therefore stressed the need to ensure that the department’s systems, staff and equipment were in the "best possible state", since "we in the business of delivering that deliver care are only as strong as our weakest link.
"We have as a country to lift our game. When we have done good we have to do better, when we do better we have to do our best," he challenged.
Citing the substantial investment ??made in expanding ??the health and?? education services, and providing a safety net for marginalised?? persons, Mr. Sinckler said there were not many countries in the Caribbean which provided?? the type of programme currently offered by Barbados as a small open economy with limited resources.
In this regard, he underscored the need to keep wastage to a minimum and to ensure the effective use of resources.
"Every dollar, every cent that we spend in social services we have to argue and fight for, because there are also other sectors fighting for resources. The old belief of the past that social services will get money when and how they like, is over," he said.