The departments providing social services in Barbados will be amalgamated.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, made this disclosure earlier today, after being sworn in by President Dame Sandra Mason.
Minister Humphrey stated: “We have as one of our important mandates as a Government to be able to make social services more acceptable to the people who need them. So, we intend to amalgamate all the various departments to form a Department of Family Services….
“The Department of Family Services will include the Welfare Department, the National Assistance Board, the Child Care Board and the National Disability Unit; and of course, there’s still going to be work for social policy and the other areas in the Ministry as well.”
He further indicated that the Ministry was “pretty advanced in the restructuring of the social services” and hopefully within a year, would bring to the public, “a reformed, refashioned social services department, where people who have to access these services feel as if they’re given a fair deal”.
Mr. Humphrey highlighted two priority areas going forward. These are: to address the treatment of persons seeking social services, and to ensure that the disabled community is “well-served”.
He stated that he was looking forward to building on the work that had been laid down by former Minister Cynthia Forde, while indicating that he was not new to the sector but had been involved in the work of the Ministry for over 12 years.
“I’m happy to go back to a Ministry that I know well; happy to go back to an area that I know well,” Minister Humphrey said.