The Welfare Department is an integral part of Barbadian society and should receive the respect it deserves.

This was underscored by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, while speaking at the Awards Ceremony for the Welfare Department, last Saturday at Hilton Barbados.

The Minister noted that there had been some short comings within the Department, as in any system, but asserted that it had served as "a direct life line" to many Barbadians.

"They are those who testify to the fact that it was the intervention of the Welfare Department which permitted their family to enjoy at least one square meal a day; or allowed their children to acquire uniforms and text books…They are others who now operate small businesses or are otherwise gainfully employed because of the skills gained through the Welfare to Work Programme," Mr. Sinckler declared.

He saluted the Welfare Officers, for continuously providing quality service. "This kind of work needs to be recognised and rewarded, especially when undertaken in less than ideal working conditions. Moreover, these services have been dispensed at times at the risk of injury due to the poor state or disrepair of some houses, or the mental capacity of some clients," the Minister maintained.

He, however, advised them to give "a little bit more", although their clients may not appear to be very appreciative of their service.

"It must be manifested in your willingness to get out of your comfortable bed, leaving your family at home in the middle of the night to tend to the family who lost their home and other earthly possessions to fire or other such calamities. As stressful as it may seem, this kind of dedication is what excellence is made of," Minister Sinckler said.

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