JIS News

The Minister of State for Project Implementation and Service Delivery in the Office of the Prime Minister, Daryl Vaz, has requested that a detailed Social Inquiry report on the children who lost parents or guardians in the motor vehicle tragedy in Portland on December 19, be completed by mid January so that a structure can be put in place to provide them with ongoing support.
Minister Vaz made the announcement at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning (December 23). The Minister noted that the ultimate aim would be to ensure that the children received a proper education.
The Social Inquiry Report will capture the housing, health, education, psychological and social needs of the children and will be compiled by Alison Anderson of the Child Development Agency and Mary Nichols, senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education.
The Social Inquiry report will provide the basis for decisions by other agencies such as the Administrator General’s Department which will have the responsibility of designing the legal support for the children, Ministry of Labour and Social Security which will provide social assistance, and UNICEF which will be responsible for offering international expertise on guiding the children’s welfare into adulthood.
Since the tragedy several agencies have been assisting the survivors in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Social Development Commission has been providing immediate food, medical and clothing relief to the families who have lost their breadwinner and reimbursing the value of the goods that were destroyed in the crash.
The Child Development Agency reported that they have started collecting information on the children left behind and the persons who have assumed responsibility for them.
The Ministry of Education will have Guidance Counsellors in place to assist the affected children on their return to school at the start of the new term.
Representatives at the preliminary meeting with Minister Vaz were from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Education, Ministry Health, Family Health section; Administrator General’s Department, Child Development Agency, the Office of the Children’s Advocate and UNICEF.