Ex NDC boss takes up senior ministry job

| 30/09/2019 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service
Joan West-Dacres

(CNS): Joan West-Dacres has been appointed as the new deputy chief officer at the Ministry of Community Affairs. Dacres was the director of the National Drug Council for more than twelve years, where she was instrumental in developing the research the council uses to help stakeholders develop programmes and policies based on accurate and locally relevant data , officials said.

The chief officer in the ministry, Teresa Echenique, said she was delighted to welcome her to the team. “Her professional qualifications made her an outstanding and compelling candidate,” Echenique stated in a press release about the appointment. “She brings with her a counselling, social work and strategic leadership competencies that will be invaluable in helping the ministry reach new levels of service provision and accountability.”

During her 12-year tenure as NDC Director (2007-2019) West-Dacres advocated for legal reform to ensure a preventative and proactive approach to drug and alcohol abuse, government officials said. Most recently, this included providing feedback on the Liquor LicenCe Law revisions and Bullying Policy and Legislation development.

“What has been most significant for me is the building of partnerships with stakeholders and working collaboratively with relevant agencies,” West-Dacres stated. “It’s important that efforts are united and streamlined for efficiency and effectiveness in our work.”

Speaking about her achievements at the NDC, she pointed towards her part in improving enforcement. “One of the biggest accomplishments I can speak to was the implementation of a National Anti-Drug Strategy, which saw the purchase and implementation of the mobile and airport scanners in a joint effort between the NDC and the then Customs agency,” she said.

Officials added that West-Dacres has more than 20 years of experience, mainly in the social and community-related sectors of the Cayman Islands, with knowledge of the local social services landscape. She has a masters degree in social work and a certificate of advanced study in evaluation, as well as some 12 years management experience.

Speaking about the new role, she said she was excited about developing strategies to support the most vulnerable people so they can contribute to the community.

“I am looking at what synergies can be developed to have a more cohesive and strategic approach to the efforts of the ministry which will allow for more effectiveness and efficiency in what is undertaken,” West-Dacres stated, adding that she applied for the job because of the strategic and policy initiatives that are the focus of the Ministry of Community Affairs.

“This work is long-term and you don’t always see quick results and I am looking forward to working with the team to ensure positive long-term outcomes to our communities,” she said.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    Oh well, He is my take. I hope more gets done to assist us Caymanians living with the HIV virus. I can remember a phone conversation I had with the then newly appointed Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique almost 2 years ago. Who on that call assured me, that I wouldn’t have any issues getting the assistance I needed. 2 years later my pension account has been depleted. And am now on my way meeting with our Deputy Governor to try and understand and get the help and assistance I was promised. NAU director Ms. Tamara Hurlston keeps quoting me this phrase. She did so in an email last week. Single able bodied persons, are only allowed 3 months assistance per year. What am I to do, when every job I apply for. Before my legs walk me out of the building. I have texts telling me I won’t get hired because. You know who he is, he has HIV.

    It’s so sad, that a system that is there to support and help the most vulnerable in our society, is being abused. Those of us who need the support and assistance. Are instead written a letter by NAU director denying you services. And the social worker assigned to NAU, sends you an email to go to the food bank.

    Sad very sad. Can we get the help, support, assistance we need. Our do I have to write the remaining 15 MLA’S. I’ve already written 4 and have been disguarded like a piece of trash on our Caymanian roads, no response. I have stated this time and time again. I will not give up the fight. If I have to to go to our Cayman courts am prepared to do so.

    Thank you kindly,

    Chet Oswald Ebanks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Joanie. Very proud of you. You and Teresa’s will make a great Team.

    Stop being so negative people and do your part to make Cayman Drug Free. Stop depending on Government to do it for you. Put down the drink and the spliff, get up off your butt and go save us from having to issue so many damn work permits.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And what great things had she accomplished in the 12 years for drug and alcohol abuse? It seems worse today than it was 12 years ago…please enlighten me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another great hire in our civil service. I doubted the claim that the recruitment of senior staff in the civil Service was going to be revamped.

    After the seeing the last half dozen appointments. I am believer.

    Joan will make a difference.

    Happy to see CNS copying the civil service Happy or Not customer satisfaction system.

  5. Coke Bloke says:

    In the last 12 years the NDC has presided over an ever increasing number of drug addicts along with an ever increasing number of large scale drug imports.
    Who was the previous Deputy Chief Officer at the Ministry?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Previous deputy chief officer was André Ebanks, now promoted to CI rep in the UK.

      • Anon says:

        1.42pm Thanks for the info. I suppose we should be grateful there is only one DCO in the Ministry, in the Civil Service these mandarins proliferate at a faster rate than our iguanas.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon. i continue to pray for you. You live in such a horrible world. You seem to hate caymanian success. I suggest you face the truth. Caymanians are achieving unprecedented success in our much improved civil service.

          Get help please.


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