Department of Social Services concludes training

The Department of Social Services recently concluded a one week training on general counseling and case management, which was given by Dr. Judith Arndell, Clinical Psychologist.


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Staff of the department are being prepared for a new approach in Social Services Development. The department will not only give financial aid or medical aid, but will be looking at all social aspects. The participants were given amongst other topics, understanding basic counseling skills; understanding case management; creating individual profiles and practical skill building exercises.

According to Bernadette Barry of the Department of Social Development, "we are preparing for the future operations of case work, case work management and social work. The focus will be, what is the best approach for the individual, by determining their problems we can try to fix things, as they might not necessarily need financial assistance, but can probably be placed in a job."

"It is clear that the old way of doing things is not working for our people. Our people need a holistic and a client centered approach. The department needs to contact the clients three months before their financial or medical assistance expires and assist them to ensure that the clients continue receiving their assistance," said Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius De Weever.

Starting May 21, 2012 until May 23, 2012 staff of the Department of Social Services will be following another course, this time around the topic will be Crisis Care. The aim of the Department of Social Services is to offer 24 hours seven days a week crisis care to the citizens of St. Maarten. Crisis Care is defined as crisis situations where problems are termed urgent and have escalated into situations in which immediate action on the part of the Department of Social Services is needed to take care of the crisis.

Minister De Weever stated that "When the department is proactive we may be able to prevent cases from escalating into crisis situations. However, these crisis situations must be well managed by all involved and there must be a follow up to prevent them from happening again."