The Youth Resilience, Inclusion and Empowerment project (Y-RIE) has again partnered with the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment to identify gaps in the service delivery of Saint Lucia’s social services referral systems and how they can be made more user friendly to the public.
Towards this end, Social Transformation and Welfare Officers of the Ministry, have concluded a two-day training exercise where they assessed the strengths and weaknesses and interrelationships of the various systems.
Referrals within Social Services play a critical role in ensuring vulnerable persons are directed to appropriate services or receive necessary resources based on their needs.
“This will help us understand what are some opportunities to strengthen those services and how we can link existing stakeholders both at the community and national level to improve those pathways. So a young person who is in need of a particular service is very aware of the stages to which they will receive support, and stakeholders are also aware of their role in providing support to young people at risk.” explained Y-RIE Program Manager for Saint Lucia Ajani Lebourne
Acting Deputy Director of Community Services Kendal Elva stated the importance of this activity as being vital to improving the work of Social Transformation Officers who are responsible for empowering young people.
“It is important for us to understand the services available to strengthen young people, when you are working with a young individual who has been affected by a number of issues, you need to get a clear understanding of their needs. When you respond to these needs you will be able to get a young person who can function properly in society,” noted Elva.
Saint Lucia’s Referral Systems Assessment will address the structure and operations of social, health and justice services within agencies that provide these assistance to at-risk youth and their families.
Barriers to accessing these services were also identified, along with recommendations for the efficient delivery of social services to youth at risk in target communities.
SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment. Headline stock photo courtesy Unsplash.