Improvements coming soon at Social Welfare offices
Port of Spain---‘The Local District Offices of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services will soon see some improvements to the way business is conducted’, said Minister of Social Development and Family Services, The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis. This was disclosed by the Minister following visits to several of the Social Welfare District Offices recently, where she met, interacted with and commended staff members for the yeoman service that they have and continue to provide throughout the years. According to the Minister: “Our Ministry has a key role to play in the development of our society and in transforming the lives of the vulnerable in our country. The aim is to ensure that when the vulnerable visits our offices, we demonstrate that we are a caring Ministry and that we can touch persons lives quickly and at every level”.
Among the proposed improvements, which will help staff to better manage their workload as well as improve client care are:
- Clearance of the backlog of applications, which have been in the system for an extended period;
- Installation of a Customer Self Service mechanism where clients can check their status and make applications online;
- Issuance of temporary Food support cards to persons who have been approved and are awaiting enrolment into the Food Support Programme;
- General improvement in the quality of care that persons experience at the district offices.
Since assuming office, the Minister has visited five (5) of the eleven (11) local board offices, among these, the Tunapuna, Sangre Grande and Rio Claro district offices. The Minister also met with the Local Board members in Sangre Grande and had the opportunity to hear what some of the challenges were in processing grant applications. She encouraged Officers to work with other Ministries and agencies to expedite the processing of documents related to applications and urged Boards to share their experiences so that they could benefit from each other in solving problems and issues, as the lives of several vulnerable persons are dependent on the decisions taken at the Board level.
During her visits, the Minister took the opportunity to observe, interact with and hear from clients and members of the public about their experiences at the Ministry; and she garnered suggestions on what could be be done to improve the service.
The Minister will continue to tour District Offices and NGOs that receive subventions from the Ministry in the coming weeks.