New names for Wel­fare, As­sis­tance Board

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

The Na­tional As­sis­tance Board (NAB) and the Wel­fare De­part­ment are to be re­named in an ef­fort to change the “ethos, the work en­vi­ron­ment and the work ap­proach” in both agen­cies, said Min­is­ter of So­cial Care Steve Black­ett.

Black­ett, who said the name changes were part of a re­vamp­ing ex­er­cise, was speak­ing af­ter the launch of In­ter­na­tional Men’s Day at Baobab Tow­ers, War­rens, St Michael.

The new name of the NAB will be the Com­mis­sion of El­der Af­fairs, while the Wel­fare De­part­ment will be changed to the De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.

“That is to re­move some of the stigma es­pe­cially from the Wel­fare De­part­ment and to make it more cus­tomer friendly and to make peo­ple feel bet­ter about them­selves when they present to the Wel­fare De­part­ment es­pe­cially,” said Black­ett. Job ti­tles will also be changed.

In the case of the NAB, the change is in­tended to give clearer def­i­ni­tion and scope to that agency, which will be “prin­ci­pally in the van­guard” of im­ple­ment­ing the re­cently in­sti­tuted Na­tional Pol­icy On Age­ing.

No cuts to ser­vices

Black­ett said there were sev­eral op­er­a­tional fea­tures of the pol­icy that needed to be im­ple­mented by an agency and though the NAB had been in the fore­front of care and wel­fare of the aged, it did not have a “leg­isla­tive agenda” to do such.

“This leg­is­la­tion will for the first time give them that kind of man­date,” he said.

Asked about his min­istry’s abil­ity to con­tinue to fund the two agen­cies, Black­ett said de­spite Bar­ba­dos’ cur­rent dif­fi­cult fis­cal po­si­tion, there had not been any cuts to so­cial ser­vices.

“The so­cial ser­vices in Bar­ba­dos have been ring-fenced against any cuts ever since we have been op­er­at­ing un­der the strict fis­cal con­straints that we have been op­er­at­ing un­der and the man­date given to us by the Min­istry of Fi­nance.

“There are cer­tain agen­cies, de­part­ments and statu­tory boards that were ring-fenced against any cuts in their bud­gets and the agen­cies that fall di­rectly un­der the purview of the Min­istry of So­cial Care have been ef­fec­tively pro­tected by that pol­icy.” (GC)

(Pic­ture by Len­nox Devon­ish.)

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