Ministry of Social Development and Family Services continues to support single-parent households
The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) continues to have as its mandate, assistance for the empowerment of the most vulnerable in our society, which includes the well-being and security of at-risk youths and families in need of social support. As such, a number of programmes, grants and services remain available for all eligible individuals and households; without any discrimination, and irrespective of gender, geographical location and/or political affiliation.
In this regard, many male and female single parent households continue to access grants and services through the Public Assistance Act of Trinidad and Tobago. Such provisions are cited under Chapter 32:03 of the Act, which recognises some of the varying social and economic challenges that households may encounter. Specifically, throughout regulations 3A. (b), (c) and 4(2). (c), the circumstances under which applicants may apply are carefully outlined. To be eligible for this and other services however, applicants must first satisfy the statutory requirements of the Ministry’s Standard Means Test.
The Ministry also continues to make allowances for all single parent households, through its various divisions and partnerships with non-governmental, faith and community-based groups. At its recently concluded Parenting Workshops, which were undertaken by the MSDFS’ National Family Services Division, many single fathers and mothers, attended the cycles. The content of these sessions included knowledge-sharing on topics such as teenage pregnancy, teens and sexuality, cyber bullying, child abuse, conflict resolution and anger management. Counselling and mediation services are also available for all interested persons and households through this Division of the Ministry.
Parents also have the opportunity to improve their literacy and employability status, by registering for Adult Education classes, for which cycles are regularly advertised. To complement this, children between the ages of nine and twenty-one, can also become registered with the Ministry’s Retiree Adolescent Partnership Programme, which provides mentoring services and co-curricular activities for boys and girls.
For further information about the Ministry’s programmes, policies and services, citizens are encouraged to visit its website.
Alternatively, information can also be sought via TTconnect’s various service centres and kiosks, as well as, through the MSDFS’ toll-free hotline at 800-OPIC.