Social service employees train in case management and crisis care

POSTED: 05/10/12 3:59 PM

L.t.r. Dr. Judith Arndell, Bernadette Barry and Erick van Arneman.

St. Maarten -The department of social services recently concluded a one week training on general counseling and case management, which was given by clinical psychologist Dr. Judith Arndell.

Staff of the department is being prepared for a new approach in social services development. The department will not only give financial aid or medical aid, but will also be looking at the broader social parameters. The participants were given amongst other topics, understanding basic counseling skills; understanding case management; creating individual profiles and practical skill building exercises.

According to Bernadette Barry of the department of social services, “We are preparing for the future operations of case work, case work management and social work. The focus will be on what is the best approach for the individual.  By determining their problems we can try to fix things, as they might not necessarily need financial assistance, but can probably be placed in a job.”

Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor, Cornelius de Weever said that “it is clear that the old way of doing things is not working for our people. Our people need a holistic and a client centered approach. The department needs to contact the clients three months before their financial or medical assistance expires and assist them to ensure that the clients continue receiving their assistance.”

From May 21, until May 23, staff of the department of social services will undergo yet another course, this time in crisis care.  In a press release, the department said that it aimed to offer 24 hours, seven days a week crisis care to the citizens of St. Maarten. Crisis care becomes necessary when urgent problems have escalated into situations in which immediate action on the part of the department of social services is needed.

Minister de Weever added that, “When the department is proactive we may be able to prevent cases from escalating into crisis situations. However, these crisis situations must be well managed by all involved and there must be a follow up to prevent them from happening again.”

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