Social welfare plan taking shape, say officials

| 15/01/2019 | 18 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Ministry of Community Affairs has said that the work it has been doing over the past year or more is beginning to inform a strategic plan for the country’s social welfare programmes. Just days before officials from the ministry and various departments, such as the Needs Assessment Unit, are due to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to explain the progress, or lack of, on recommendations made in reports by the Office of the Auditor General on government’s social assistance, the ministry said it was moving to a new consultation phase.

In a press release from the ministry, officials said that they were launching a series of consultations with private citizens and non-profit organisations as part of the work to “improve services and revise outdated legislation”.

Since a new management team was appointed at community affairs — Chief Officer Teresa Echenique and Deputy Chief Officer Andre Ebanks — around one year ago, the ministry said it had been undergoing a “thorough review of service provision”.

Now the newly promoted director of Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, and the director of the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU), Tamara Hurlston, and their teams are all involved in this ongoing review.

Last summer a working group was established to evaluate financial assistance and develop a strategic plan to provide sustainable and transformational services, and officials said it was important for the working group to seek broad input from a cross-section of people and organisations.

After consulting with all the relevant government departments, the ministry is now moving on to more public discussions with a view to repealing the Poor Persons (Relief) Law and replacing it with a modernised financial assistance principal law, which has been identified as a priority.

“The next round of consultations is a call-to-action to help shape future provision by private citizens and other external stakeholders, including charities,” said Echenique.

Deputy Chief Officer Andre Ebanks said this next round of deliberations would “provide further insights in developing coordinated and effective solutions” that the ministry said would advance the services offered.

Austin Harris, the government MLA for Prospect, who is currently acting as the temporary community affairs minister in the absence of the premier said success “will depend in part, on the development of fit-for-purpose laws and policies, but equally it will require constructive co-operation from all stakeholders”.

This public round of consultations will take the form of questionnaires and focus groups, which will be coordinated with key stakeholders identified by the working group, the officials said, adding that the ministry was hoping to get “a significant degree of support from the public, civic organisations and charities” to help with these long-awaited social reforms.

Anyone interested in participating can contact the Ministry of Community Affairs at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Politics

Comments (18)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Slacker says:

    I dare them to reveal the turnover rate at the NAU, for front-line staff. It far exceeds any other CS department, due to organizational issues.

  2. Jacky Boatsde From Oldbush says:

    Here here i second that VBU a very important tool in the unity government’s arsenal to keep the wotes and woters in line and to let them no there place! You don’t eat till we say so ain’t that right Mckeewa?? My woters are just like cows when i call dem dey come!

  3. Anonymous says:

    If workers do not earn enough to save enough to support them in retirement in an effectively regulated system then Social Service payments to the needy will continue to increase.

    Eventually social service taxes will be introduced to fund this system..

  4. Vote Buying Unit says:

    The NAU just needs to be renamed to reflect what it actually is, the VBU.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Corporate Welfare Payments of hundreds of MILLIONS OF DÒLLARS is paid in the form of lost revenue. McKeeva and Alden has agreed that their friends like DART and other Billionairs will not have to pay duty and most other fees.

    McKeva and Alden have destroyed our consumption based taxation system and will lead to the destruction of the dwindling middle class with more and more people lining up for government financial assistance.

    McKeeva your 2003 Status Grant receiiants are now the most recipients of NAU payments.

    We all pay for your foolishness.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:34 you are right on. The rich and the destitute are taken care of the middle class are abandoned to spend their time waiting in traffic

  6. Anonymous says:

    The slave rate $6.00 Minimum Wage is an unlivable wages.

    The importation of cheap labour has resulted in the imortation of poverty.

    The gross inequality of wages in the Cayman Islands is scandalous.

    Mac and Alden have agreed to give DART $$ MILLIONS of secret duty free, work permit free, planning charges free. DART is the largest recipient of welfare benefits in the Cayman Islands.

    Poor people will end up paying increased taxes to fund aid to the poor.

    A downward spiral.

    • Anonymous says:

      Noted Bernie Sanders.

      FYI, the poor people generally funds no one. Part of being poor, is that you have no money to fund anything, including one’s self. Take a class on economics.

    • Anonymous says:

      How incredibly moronic can one possibly get?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think we should FOI, Needs Assessment to find out how much is being spent in each district per person. Then we can get proof that it’s like welfare in the states. Then we should do a referendum to get people to vote to shut it down. All in favor? say ay

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great. Now tell us how much you are regularly spending on non Caymanians?

    • Anonymous says:

      And cases where the client actually has a home to live in, it’s been deemed unliveable due to wiring issues, and NAU (gov) prefers to pay the person’s rent elsewhere for over a year now rather than fix a rather simple problem? Boggles my mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop making things up.


You can comment anonymously. See CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.