New Local Boards of Guardians appointed in Regions Two and Seven
New Local Boards of Guardian have been installed in Anna Regina and Bartica with a charge to ensure greater emphasis on supporting families.
This charge was made by Social Protection Minister, Volda Lawrence, who was present at both installation ceremonies.
According to the Ministry, these Boards are tasked with processing applications for Public Assistance. Public Assistance is a form of temporary financial assistance issued by the Government to specific persons, including the aged, infirmed, sick, destitute and children below the age of 14.
The Local Boards of Guardian are responsible for evaluating and determining the legitimacy of the applications within their areas.
Minister Lawrence urged them to go beyond recommending the cash grant and seek additional support to empower the families, noting too that children receiving Public Assistance must attend schools regularly and urged the Board members to monitor their attendance.
Additionally, these children must benefit from regular health checks. Minister Lawrence also alerted parents to the Ministry’s intention of holding them accountable when they are delinquent in taking care of their children.
The new Board members were advised that Government is moving in the direction of implementing conditional cash transfers, which would eventually replace Public Assistance.
This would be in the form of tangible assistance to families that would help to empower the entire family, rather than a cash transfer for a few members as is currently the case.
It was pointed out that persons with permanent disabilities are now being given Public Assistance Vouchers for an entire year, instead of six months as was done previously.
Board members are selected from communities within the Regions. The several persons from the previous boards were returned to serve on the new boards. There are 28 such Boards across the country.