Public information session hosted for single fathers
The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services conducted its 48th Public Information, Educational and Sensitization Session on Thursday 21st March at the Ministry’s National Enrichment Centre in Chaguanas. The session was conducted with the Single Fathers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SFATT) and included representatives of the Ministry’s Social Welfare and National Family Services Divisions, Disability Affairs Unit, Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme, Piparo Empowerment Centre and the National Social Development Programme.
During the session, a number of issues were discussed related to services available to single fathers. Participants were informed that through the Food Support Programme vulnerable persons and families in need can purchase basic food items, necessary to meet their daily nutritional requirements. Qualification is determined through the application of a Standard Means Test.
Services of the National Family Services Division which includes primarily, counselling and psychosocial support, were also promoted. SFATT also learnt about the Divisions Parenting Workshops which aim to strengthen parenting skills and to equip parents and guardians with the necessary resources that would promote child learning and development.
The Public Assistance Grant was also highlighted. Participants learnt that this grant provides financial aid to vulnerable citizens; Persons found to be with little or no means of support and unable to earn a living to support themselves; dependents because of illness or injury, death and/or abandonment by a parent or guardian; needy children whose fathers, mothers or both parents have died, imprisoned or have deserted the family. The grant is also paid to a parent or guardian on behalf of a child with a severe disability and where the household income is deemed inadequate.
Officers from the National Social Development Programme were also present to provide insights into the programme which provides a range of services including minor house repairs, house wiring, sanitary plumbing and the SEED Programme. Other issues raised at the forum included sensitization for social workers related to males accessing social welfare grants, non-gender biased eligibility criteria for accessing grants, the Standard Means Test and improvements in customer service.
The goal of the PIES Sessions is to inform about the Ministry’s programmes and services and how these said programmes and services can be accessed. The Ministry launched the initiative in January 2017. The PIES sessions are an important component to creating more efficient and effective service delivery to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.