JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Board of Supervision has allocated $3.5 million to improve the Human Services sector, through its Professional Training Programme.
  • The Board is partnering with the HEART Trust/NTA to address the increased demand on the Poor Relief sector, through the capacity building of participants in the programme.
  • They will be trained in key areas of human and social services to care for the vulnerable members of society. These include: deportees, homeless persons, and the mentally ill.

The Board of Supervision has allocated $3.5 million to improve the Human Services sector, through its Professional Training Programme.

The Board is partnering with the HEART Trust/NTA to address the increased demand on the Poor Relief sector, through the capacity building of participants in the programme.

They will be trained in key areas of human and social services to care for the vulnerable members of society. These include: deportees, homeless persons, and the mentally ill.

Speaking at the launch of the Human Services Diploma Programme on March 6 at the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) on Gordon Town Road, in Kingston, State Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, said the programme has widespread implications for the society.

“The Human Services Professional Training Programme reflects the high value of continuous education to national development. The Board is operating in a Jamaica that has evolved significantly over the past 20 years and this change has significantly increased the demand on some of the Poor Relief programmes,” the State Minister said.

“This programme represents a critical stage of the evolution of the Board. The effort is to move from strictly poor relief and the impression of welfare, to providing Human Services… (so that we can) engage and provide holistic interventions on behalf of individuals, groups, families and communities,” he added.

Mr. Fagan argued that the initiative is an acknowledgement that times have changed and that the shift requires the development of a team of skilled people, and adopting new methods and approaches to human care.

The courses in the programme will provide participants with the skills for effective client management. The expected outcomes of the programme are that participants will be fully trained in many health and social areas that will enable them to function effectively as human service specialists.

Corporate Secretary for the Board, Barrington Parsons, said that participants will be able to communicate effectively with persons from culturally diverse situations, and critically assess clients’ needs through in-depth exposure to professional courses, such as psychology, counselling and sociology.

The programme will see 35 participants selected from a group of practising health service workers, including Assistant Inspectors of Poor (outdoor), Acting Matrons and Assistant Matrons (indoor) as well as volunteers in the Poor Relief system. At the end of the training, which is scheduled to last 16 months, these persons will earn a Professional Diploma in the Human Services.

The training programme is scheduled to begin in March 2015 and end in June next year.