Acting Chief Visits NAU
New Acting Chief Officer with responsibility for Community Affairs Teresa Echenique has already toured both departments within her Ministry.
Following a visit to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on Tuesday, 26 September, Ms Echenique also met with the management and staff of the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) on Wednesday, 27 September 2017,
Over the course of an hour the acting chief officer and Director Tamara Hurlston discussed topics ranging from the unit’s physical outfitting to information technology, manpower and budgeting issues. Dialogue also focused on the processes and procedures that govern applications and the experience of applicants from the time they first set foot inside the agency.
Ms Echenique who has a background in social work and probation was accompanied by the Ministry’s new Chief Financial Officer Joel Burke as she shook hands with NAU employees and later addressed a staff meeting.
Going forward the two senior officials agreed that the Ministry would work to support and enhance the department. The acting chief told gathered welfare workers that despite the restrictions in the coming budget year, she had confidence in the team, and would work with them and key stakeholders like the Department of Children and Family Services to innovate solutions.
She also noted that on Monday, 2 October, they would be joined by two new colleagues, and that efforts would be made to fill other vacant post to ensure that clients’ needs are met.
Commenting on her first meeting with the staff of 25, Ms Echenique said: “Communication and information sharing is imperative, flowing from department to Ministry and vice versa. It is very important to remember that we are all in this together, working towards the same goal, and therefore it is necessary that we support each other and our work.”
To motivate the group—including a staff member who was on the line from Cayman Brac-- the acting chief officer shared her own experiences of taking charge of the Department of Community Rehabilitation in 2003. Over the years, with hard-work and strategic planning she said she oversaw the team’s growth from five to nearly 40.
Asserting the belief that by working to build the organisation Government would also help to improve its standards of service, she stressed that it was important at the same time that standards never drop.
Ms Echenique thanked the NAU staff for their hard work and dedication, including many long hours and late nights to ensure that clients’ essential needs, such as housing, were met in a timely way.
She added that it was of the utmost importance for people in their line of work to exhibit professionalism and respect in their dealings with people at all levels, whether clients, staff, other stakeholders or the ministry, and that she was confident they would carry this forward across the board in their day to day operations and continue to enhance services.
For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks