Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 21, 2022 (SKNIS): Positive changes in relation to caring for senior citizens and differently-abled persons in St. Kitts and Nevis are expected in the coming weeks and months as a number of changes are rolled out by the ministerial leadership.
Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister with portfolio for Social Development, Ageing and Disabilities et al, met with the staff in the various departments to applaud them for their hard work, hear their concerns, listen to ideas to improve efficiencies, and to spell out new initiatives and programmes.
A particular area that will be given attention is expanding home care assistance for persons in need. The Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), which also falls under the portfolio of Minister Dr. Hanley, will be a key partner in this regard.
“I told them that I need them to find me 30 home care officers within the programme who we are going to train and certify them and those officers are going to be working alongside you as home care officers,” Dr. Hanley stated, noting that this will help to reduce the workload on current officers. “Your role is to nurture them so that at the end of the day they may be able to become permanent [or] be able to start their own business.”
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that opportunities in the care industry are expanding, and it was important to keep up with the needs of society’s vulnerable. The goal is to ensure that vulnerable persons are treated with dignity.
Honourable Dr. Hanley noted that persons who lack financial resources, and even some who do not, often apply for public assistance.
“We have to try our best to continue to be courteous to them and find ways of sharing the news without breaking their hearts because this must be a ministry of compassion and empathy and I will as Minister endeavour to do my best to try to make sure that the necessary resources are available,” he expressed.
Minister Dr. Hanley was supported by Junior Minister the Honourable Isalean Phillip and Permanent Secretary Janelle Lewis Tafari.
The staff welcomed the discussion and engaged in a frank dialogue with the ministers.
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