Social workers recognised for dedication

| 24/03/2019
CNS Local Life
(L-R) Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Social Work Manager Leanora Wynter-Young, Tiffany Myles of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub and DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life): The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) recently hosted its first-ever awards ceremony to recognise outstanding social workers. A recurring theme throughout the evening was that social work is a calling rather than a choice, stated a press release. Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service Franz Manderson, who attended the event, took the opportunity to commend the department’s staff.

“You embody the purpose of the civil service, to make the lives of those we serve better. I appreciate that you work with the most vulnerable people in our islands and I am thankful for your dedication and commitment to service,” Manderson said.

The event also gave Teresa Echenique, former social worker and current Ministry of Community Affairs Chief Officer, the chance to formally acknowledge the department’s social work and community development teams, while pledging increased support for them, said the release.

CNS Local Life
Kernita Bailey receives her Outstanding Social Work award from Deputy Governor Franz Manderson (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza Williams thanked her staff for their “hard work, dedication and selflessness”. In her welcome remarks, she said, “Being change agents, social workers are always caring for others, while often times neglecting to care for ourselves and family.”

“We at times shy away from the spotlight and welcome taking a back seat when we are the true champions of social change…Through all this we know what it is to be human and to be humane. By observing the theme: ‘Elevate Social Work’, let us reaffirm our commitment and dedication to our profession, the department and the people of the Cayman Islands as we continue to serve, embracing the highest standards of social work practice.”

CNS Local Life
Christine Miller presented with her award by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

During the evening, Echenique presented certificates of appreciation to various staff and Manderson handed out “Outstanding Social Work” plaques to Kai Matthews-Mowatt, David Hunter, Kerry Parchman, Juliet Garricks, Kernita Bailey and Sophia Walker.

DCFS social work manager Leanora Wynter-Young, who was named a Civil Service Employee of the Month in 2017, gave an impromptu speech in which she spoke of what she had learnt in her 43-year career.

She shared an anecdote about her own first-hand experience of social workers’ power to change lives. This concerned a troubled, pregnant teenage client that she checked on over the years.

Years later, now a married mother of one, she contacted Wynter-Young to tell her that thanks to the social worker’s advice, she was about to graduate from law school, while her child was enrolled in a master’s degree in business administration.

The evening ended with a vote of thanks from Social Work Manager (Elderly Services) Cassandra Fearon.

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Category: Civil Service

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Civil Servant does job. Awards time!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This too should be brought to the front pages. Too much space is taken by articles about wrong people-criminals and corrupt persons.
    Congratulations Ladies!