Social Services Minister Introduces RISE at Town Meeting

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Conditional Cash Transfer Programme RISE introduced!

Minister Griffin explains RISE.  (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)
Minister Griffin explains RISE. (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)

NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Hon. Melanie S. Griffin, M.P. Minister of Social Services and Community Development introduced the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme called RISE at the Community Meeting for the programme’s pilot on Wednesday evening, June 24, 2015 at Uriah McPhee Primary School.

The Town Meeting provided an update on plans for the introduction of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, RISE, which is part of the Social Safety Net Reform Programme being undertaken by the Government through the Department of Social Services.

Minister Griffin pointed out that last year, the Department celebrated its 50th Anniversary and it has grown tremendously over these years. A lot has changed, she said, in 50 years, with social issues today being much more complex than they were 50 years ago and the demand for services continuing to increase.

Minister Griffin allowed that no doubt, the next 50 years will bring about even more changes and greater demands for new and additional services.

She said: “Every so often, it is important to pause and reflect on what one is doing to determine if it is meeting the intended purpose or if it can be improved upon. A few years ago, we undertook a study of our social welfare services and determined the need for some reforms to bring about greater efficiency in the delivery of services and to ensure that the persons who are truly in need are being assisted. It also determined the need for clients to become more involved in actions that could help to break the cycle of poverty.

“A major reform was implemented last November when we introduced the prepaid card for food assistance and beneficiaries of the Wulff Road Centre were the first to receive the card.

“We are now preparing to implement another component of the reform process, the introduction of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme and tonight, you will be provided with information on this programme. We will also be changing the way persons are determined to be eligible for the CCT. This will involve a new application form and process, which you will also hear more about tonight. We expect that this new format will better assist in determining those who are truly in need of assistance.”

Minister Griffin said that with the introduction of the CCT, clients, especially those with children, will have to meet certain conditions. These conditions are designed to improve the education and health of their children.

“This is an exciting time for us at Social services and once again, the Wulff Road Centre is the first for the pilot of the CCT.

“I ask you therefore to give the team your full support in this venture

and join hands with us and as our slogan says, Together, we RISE!”