CIG fills top vacancy at family services

| 10/08/2016 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service

Felicia Robinson, Director of Children and Family Services

(CNS): A former director with the St Lucia government has been appointed as Cayman’s new director of Children and Family Services following an open recruitment drive, officials revealed Wednesday. Felicia Robinson, originally from Barbados, is a long-term resident of Cayman who has worked in the social work sector for over 20 years in 22 jurisdictions. It is not clear when Robinson left the St Lucia job or where she was working before she took up her new post with DCFS last Thursday (4 August).

However, officials have said that she brings “a wealth of knowledge in social work, policy and legal drafting”, and is a child protection and policy specialist. In a release about the appointment of the key position, officials said Robinson had previously worked to develop social and public policies within public and private entities and with civil society, government leaders, senior public officials, regional and international professionals, as well as experts across multiple fields.

“It is a pleasure to have Mrs Robinson join our team,” said Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden, who has responsibility for the department.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to what is the most important work of this government; that is, the protection of children and strengthening of families. With her expertise, I have no doubt that the department will grow from strength to strength and ultimately realise my goal of becoming the benchmark in the region when it comes to services for children and families,” the minister stated.

Described as being proficient in financial management oversight as well as monitoring and evaluation of output performance, government officials also said she is proficient in the preparation of policy papers, formulating recommendations for amendments to laws, reviewing of draft model bills, presentation of technical reports, publications and speeches and liaising with community partners and stakeholders, as well as regional and international agencies.

“Mrs Robinson has provided support to countries in their efforts to attain improved compliance with international human (child) rights treaty obligations and in developing services for children and families from diverse backgrounds and communities.,” the release stated.

Officials also stated that as part of her responsibilities, Robinson will also be collaborating with the ministry to develop the department’s succession plan to ensure the team “is effectively equipped for career progression”.

Robinson has a post-graduate diploma in legislative drafting from the University of the West Indies, a degree from the University of Liverpool (Cayman Islands Law School), a master’s in social and public policy from the University of Leeds, and a certificate in social work from the University of the West Indies.

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  1. Benny Zitto says:

    Poor old Cayman suffering because those at the very top are simply indifferent to the needs of those who put them in office.As for the DG we all know where he stands???

    • Anonymous says:

      I am looking forward to the “progression plan”. This is sadly missing in most cases.

      The most recent one was for the Courts — the departing administrator was to train someone to take his place — he stayed for four years and never identified one person to be trained. Luckily, they could find someone in the civil service — Suzanne Bothwell — to move into the position.

      Call me jaded, but I have yet to see an expatriate train anyone to take over his or her plumb job.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are case of non Caymanian women marrying Caymanian men and bring their non-Caymanian children from prior relationships and receiving social service benefits for those non-Caymanian children.

    • Anonymous says:

      And so? The immigration law extends these rights to the children. Maybe take it up with them. Or the Caymanian men/women marrying foreigners.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually no. The immigration law extends the right to these children to come to Cayman only if they do not require government support. Of course, we do not follow our laws.

        • Anonymous says:

          As defined where? You are confusing work permit rules and rules for people married to Caymanians

          • Anonymous says:

            As defined in the inherent obligation in the immigration department to place reasonable controls over who gets to come and live here and why. “I have 4 children and met this guy who has status and married him in Vegas yesterday” should never by itself give the individual and their children all rights in Cayman – but it does.

          • Anonymous says:

            I suggest you read s.22 of the law in relation to the requirements to become Caymanian.

            You should also see s.2 of the immigration law and the defininition of destitute persons.

            You should also ask about the authorities inherent discretion to ensure that immigration is in the best interests of the Cayman Islands.

            Then ask immigration if it is their policy to permit foreign destitute persons to come and take up residence here.

            Then ask politicians if it is intentionally government policy to spend millions of dollars supporting foreign destitute persons whilst having insufficient money for paper for Caymanian schoolchildren.

            All will tell you it is not allowed. Then ask them why it is so prevalent and growing. Then watch as they contort themselves into knots pointing at other ministries with no one taking responsibility and blaming each other.

            Meanwhile our economy is becoming unsustainable from within.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am struck that this person has only a certificate in social work. Usually in the professions you want undergraduate and postgraduate degrees I n the field. Not only does this bring an assurance that the candidate should understand the field fully, but it also demonstrates that this individual has a passion for social work. Surely there were Caymanians with those qualifications?

      Sounds as if she might be better in a policymaking unit. And I would not be surprised if in a few years this person moves up into a higher paying layer close to the top of the civil service. So we lose the benefit to the department of the acquired on the job learning.

      There are just certain positions in which you need a Caymanian who understands the culture and is fully qualified in the field. For example, that is why we have a Caymanian Depity Governor — of course you could find many persons better qualified on paper than Franz.

      So even if they were dazzled by her admittedly impressive qualifications — I can’t imagine that there were not good candidates who were more grounded into the local culture and the in profession of social work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually no. You only have to look at the ineptitude of the managers in social work in Cayman to know that an appointment from overseas was necessary.

        • Anonymous says:

          12:43 AM — I am sure they are no more inept than the foreign nationals here and in those coming from other country.

          Mahatma Ghandi, when asked by the British whether he did not feel the Indians would make mistakes when they took over governing, said something to the effect — at least it will be our mistakes!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Excellent appointment I just wish we had more people from Barbados here like they did in the 70’s when Cayman was really great, especially the Police Force.

  4. Anonymous says:

    20 years work in 22 different jurisdictions, not enough time to complete probation in either jurisdiction when you consider, a long time resident of the CI and no one seems to know where she worked before taking on this job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am surprised, they should of given the position to the Chief Officer of the Ministry responsible. This would of been the perfect position for the Chief Officer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Another Brilliant appointment. I am so proud to see the DG keeping his work to employ the BEST person for the job.

    Our children and families will benefit from this appointment and that’s all we should be concerned about right now .

    Kudos to everyone involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Kudos”, the only congratulatory word the government stooges know.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not think appointing someone who has had 20 jobs in 20 years is the best person for the job. So she can write policy (cut and paste it) but will our services to vulnerable children and families improve? I doubt it. It seems to me that this person has not earned her spurs in field work and would have very little understanding of how to bring about change in a broken system.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Will her degree in law help her to make decisions about who to help and our leaders will assume she’s going to follow the law because of it or help certain people?

    My qualifications are more related to social work and I have just as much experience but would never be considered for an interview.

    • Anonymous says:

      So why don’t you apply for a position that deals with social work???

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets hope she lends a hand to the people working to make our elderly people safe and secure as they are forgotten on the Caymans. My mum works as a care helper at Golden age home and stresses over the issues there.
      She says that they employed an overseas supervisor last year and she had great ideas, but she has now resigned from post as no one listens to her on how the elderly programme should develop. What a waste of time and money if these people are not allowed to d what they are employed to do.
      I hope the director flourishes and show nationality is irrelevant.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I belive it was an “open” recruitment process meaning the best person out of the applicants interviewed go the job. Get over yourselves…just give the best person the job no matter where they came from and leave it at that. Clearly the previous incumbent didn’t get it right!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can I ask if Franz Manderson was or is the best Public Servant for the position of Deputy Governor? Hell no! He is far from being the sharpest amongst the Public Servants. Why are people talking nonsense about an open recruitment and the best person got the job? Few people applied for the Deputy Governor job because Donnie Ebanks made a public announcement that he had trained Franz to succeed him. His interview was merely formality. The problem is that people are intimidated by these powerful guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was the previous incumbent Caymanian? How did the vacancy arise?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the previous incumbent didn’t get it right – just like the Chief Officer of the Ministry. However, rather than replacing the Chief Officer (like the previous Government did), they chose to get rid of the person in the DCFS posts. With all the scandals and problems within this Ministry (include the “f’n driftwood Minister) all senior management and the chief officer should be removed and reassigned to different posts, because they are certainly doing a poor job.

      • Anonymous says:

        How about just removed. That’s problem now, the government keeps “reassigning” people to work that they can’t handle, all the while you have University students with the necessary and UP TO DATE degrees, that could do the job 10 times better.

  9. Anonymous says:

    yawn…get ready for ‘caymankind’ welcome….

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Undermining any local person who would more than likely do equal of a job seem to be the action of the day. Be it a Bartender or Director of … must be from elsewhere. I am however, willing to give Felicia Robinson a chance but unless she has the skill of empathy attached to all of those accolades then the same ‘I go look out for my kind’ will continue within that government department. There are too many Caymanians that are suffering in the Cayman Islands and no it isn’t because they are lazy or do not want to work or think certain jobs are beneath them or all of the other bogus excuses that too often are given by employers so that they can hire their own from abroad. Most of the time people have fallen on hard times and have had to resort to begging the C&FS
    Department for help which most times never come or it takes much too long to receive it and by that time the initial problem the size of a mole is the size of breadfruit. So the bottom line here is this, EMPATHY must be the learned skill of the day for such persons who have the power to make change happen in the Cayman Islands regardless which department in government they work.

  11. Anonymous says:

    20 years and 22 jurisdictions?……

    • Anonymous says:

      20 Years in 22 jurisdictions works out to 9 months per job provided she could quit one job today and start the new one tomorrow. If you consider at least 2 to 3 months between jurisdictions for moving, travel, etc., its more like 6 months per job. We should be able to train or find a Caymanian in 6 Months!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but, you see, Caymanians tend to get concerned when they see social services supporting significant numbers of foreign nationals. This causes problems, in particular when they point out that it is usually unlawful for a non Caymanian who cannot sustain themselves and their dependents to be here. Foreign nationals are therefore the only people that can fully perform this role because they are less likely to take issue.

        • Anonymous says:

          Foreign Nationals are not support by social services. So I am sure you do not know what you are talking about.

          • Anonymous says:

            If the foreign national has a “Caymanian child” they can receive social services on behalf of the child. There are numerous examples of this going on- the Caymanian mother or father cheats on their spouse and abandon their children – don’t tell me this crap does not happen because I used to work in the department that supported these foreign nationals who were taking care of “Caymanian children”.

            • Anonymous says:

              Maybe the question is to ask yourself why are these Caymanians are so garabe at maintaining a relationship?
              So the child is a Caymanian, and parent is from overseas. Do you let the Overseas person starve and not support them because of the neglectful Caymanian?
              If you truly worked at that department and if there are others who share your opinion working there, I can only pray you are all exposed and fired. You have a sick mind and truly evil heart. To cast your eyes down on people in need from a place of power is despicable.

              • Anonymous says:

                The overseas child’s government should be supporting them, not mine.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The influx of children from poorer countries are the answer to a lot of problems on this island. In my nebiourhood I see it and know it. Some are nusiances to our peaceful communities.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    A nice Christian viewpoint!

                  • Anonymous says:

                    It should not particularly matter where the children (or adults) are from. It should however matter that they cannot support themselves. If that does not matter then all we are doing is importing more poverty, more expense on government, more strain on our budget and social services and education and police, and generally screwing up Cayman which depends on a relatively small pool of persons needing to be sustained by government to make our economic model work.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    When you blame children for your societies failures. It’s not the beginning of the end, it is the end.

              • Anonymous says:

                You are misunderstanding much of what is going on. The “Caymanian” parent is often themselves from overseas.

              • Anonymous says:

                Too many marriages of convenience. They bring their grown children here for the spouse to adopt and stay with him long enough for it to be legal, then move on. Our people need to stop be pawns.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The government and the immigration department should think about that before openly and actively encouraging marriage as the way to get residency.

            • Anonymous says:

              I question your use of “Caymanian Child”, are you infering that a children born to foreign mother or father is any less a Caymanian the a child born two Caymanian generational parents?
              If so you are the problem with this country.

              • Anonymous says:

                We are talking about children born to both a foreign father and mother.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The that child is not Caymanian and the family group could not receive social services. As that family is not Caymanian.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    I agree with you, but the moment one of the parents gets granted PR, or marries a Caymanian, guess what happens!

            • Anonymous says:

              Also, if a foreign national has a Cymanian child and 5 foreign children, guess what? Social services takes care of them all! This is illegal and is bankrupting our country, but our government does not give a damn!

              It refuses to even ensure the Caymanian father pays anything.

              Votes are apparently more important than our future.

              • Anonymous says:

                8:57 pm. CFS should discontinue the help to parents with children who have fathers who have not stepped up to the plate to provide for their children. The law should be executed accordingly and let them do for their children, government is not a sperm donor.
                I will never support baby machines.

            • Anonymous says:

              So you want the Caymanian child to starve?

          • Anonymous says:

            Hundreds of non Caymanians are being or have been supported by social services including in circumstances that are overt breaches of the immigration law. There are also significant numbers of non Caymanian children in government schools including benefitting from fee lunches. You should check your facts.

            • Anonymous says:

              Facts! Prove it. Just because you say something does not make it true. Or say ” check your facts” after making a blanket statement.

              • Anonymous says:

                Ask them if every person they are helping is Caymanian as defined in the Immigration Law. Ask them how they check. Ask them how they treat the non Caymanian kin of persons that are Caymanian or Permanent Residents.

                Then read the immigration law and ask yourself how what is happening has been allowed.

                • Anonymous says:

                  8:09 pm What should happen here, in order to decrease dependence on CFS, is to stop issuing status to people who are at the lower end of the scale, who will never be able to pay their way. Stop increasing governments liability by providing for baby machines.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    The Immigration Law already prohibits that. It is however still done. It is so much fun to pick and choose what parts of what laws you want to follow, and which you want to ignore.

    • Fish Tea says:

      And a “long term resident”

    • Anonymous says:

      That was definitely a notable concern. No longevity in any one jurisdiction is a major red flag. Another major concern is that her education in law and legislative drafting. Lawyes and drafters are hardly noted for their ability to relate to the common man, woman or child. There is not a whole lot of information on her actual work in social work. his is a department that needs those with experience in real life hands on situations, not bureaucrats. Would have been nice to see her achievements in her actual work in social work. Lets hope she knows what shes doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      20 years and 22 jobs sounds like someone who has no problem getting a job, the problem is keeping it. Kind od weird! Really?

    • Freddy says:

      I wonder what they call a LONG TIME RESIDENT but yet she has served in the capacity for 22 Jurisdictions. SMH

  12. Anonymous says:

    No one in Cayman had a degree to fill this position??? We had to hire someone from another country?

    • Anonymous says:

      8:40 why don’t u ask that question to the social workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman’s indigenous talent pool (genuine talent not Micky Mouse University talent) is very shallow.

      • Anonymous says:

        I certainly agree with you. Most of the “talent” survive simply by being lackey’s for their respective Minister. Civil Service should do away with all Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer positions, because it is the Minister’s of each portfolio who tell them what to do and when to do it.

        And by the way, DG Franz Manderson is no way comparable to DG Donovan Ebanks. Mr. Donovan acted on concerns brought to his attention and Mr. Manderson is very hesitant. Do I need to name specific names and specific situations to prove this point????

    • Anonymous says:

      8:40 pm Does this mean that this will be another status holder later on? Is this an open-ended contract?

      • Anonymous says:

        Why shouldn’t it be a status holder? Under the law and Constitution, they’re Caymanians exactly like the so called born ones.

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