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The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is the core social sector Ministry with responsibility for coordinating the implementation of Government’s social and human development objectives.   It currently offers programming, services and grants to vulnerable persons including the poor, differently abled, the elderly, socially displaced and other vulnerable members of society inclusive of family units. These include the following:

Programmes

Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (TCCTP) – The Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme “TCCTP” is a short-term food assistance and development programme that targets vulnerable persons and families in need. TCCTP recipients can purchase the basic items they need to meet their daily nutritional requirements, thereby enhancing the health and dignity of their household and reducing the incidence of poverty. Clients are required to take part in the Rise Up component of the Programme, which stands for Rights of Individuals to Social and Economic Security Universal Prosperity “RISE UP”. It is the developmental component of the Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, and takes a holistic approach to poverty alleviation, giving consideration to the conditions that restrains the family’s effort to move out of poverty. It provides families in extreme poverty with access to critical services, linking them and facilitating their access to and benefit from such services. It seeks to empower the household to improve its quality of life in eight dimensions. These include

  • Personal Identification,
  • Income,
  • Education,
  • Employment,
  • Family Dynamics
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Safety and Security

RISE UP was designed to implement the conditional component of the TCCTP and is executed through the Family Intervention Network “FIN”. This involves bringing together separate programmes and entities and refocusing them on supporting households’ capacity to address vulnerability. It also involves focusing on the family and not only the individual, actually seeking out and visiting the vulnerable and offering an integrated, comprehensive approach to promote sustainable poverty reduction.

TT (Food) Cards are provided in temporary and long term versions in the following categories:

No. of Persons in Household Value of Card
1-3 $410
4-5 $550
6 and above $700

Temporary cards last for one (1) month but persons are eligible to receive three such cards whilst waiting for the long term card.

Care and rehabilitation of street dwellers and socially displaced persons in Trinidad and Tobago.

This is primarily done through the Social Displacement Unit and the Inter Agency Unit.

Services provided include:

  • Direct provision of social work services (e.g. assessment, counselling, advice, independent living training programmes, and referrals to treatment and rehabilitation centres) to the client population.
  • Reception of, and follow up social work intervention, with deportees upon their arrival at Piarco.
  • Support and follow up assistance (e.g. rental assistance, literacy training, counselling, and advice)
  • Establishment and monitoring of assessment, treatment, care and rehabilitation facilities
  • Institutional Strengthening programmes for NGO service providers
  • Public Education activities

The Ministry also runs two treatment facilities associated with street dwelling and drug abuse. These are the NEW HORIZON’S REHABILITATION CENTRE, which provides viable alternatives to street dwelling and to meet the long term care and rehabilitation needs of the socially displaced.

The other facility is the PIPARO EMPOWERMENT CENTRE. The Centre is a 24 hour facility for substance abusers seeking recovery by providing the opportunity to become empowered to achieve their fullest potential and ultimately becoming productive members of society. Using the Therapeutic Community Model, the Centre provides residential treatment, rehabilitation and skills training for male substance abusers over 18 years of age, who are socially displaced, past and first time offenders, walk in clients, and those referred from other short –term Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers, or those requiring long-term treatment. Apart from in-house Skills Training, residents at the PEC also receive external training through YTEPP and the Retraining Programme or other providers such as the Ministry of Food Production and Ministry of Community Development.

Multi-Purpose Community-based Telecentre

The Multi-Purpose Community-based Telecentre project was designed to empower citizens at the community level, by providing free access to information and computer based skills. The Telecentres offer access to the internet and walk-in use of its facilities, training programmes in basic and advanced computer literacy which provide the educational, and social development to reduce isolation, bridge the digital divide, and help to create economic opportunities.   It also provides business support services to micro-entrepreneurs and targets the underprivileged, particularly in rural regions. Telecentres are available for public use in the six (6) areas of: Tunapuna; Penal; Couva; Piparo; San Juan/Laventille and Princes Town.

Services provided at Telecentres:

  • Free access to computer facilities
  • Basic computer literacy training
  • Internet  access for Research
  • Recognizable Certification
  • Facilities for photocopying, faxing, scanning, email
  • Conference Room Space for CBOs, FBOs, NGOs etc.

National Social Development (NSDP) Programme – seeks to ensure that needy citizens and underdeveloped communities of Trinidad and Tobago have access in their homes to reliable and sustainable supply of pipe borne water and electricity, and to enjoy the use of improved sanitary plumbing facilities and homes that are in uninhabitable conditions, in an effort to raise their standard of living and quality of life. The areas of services under the NSDP include:

 

Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP) – an intensive short-term, intergenerational training Programme which imparts knowledge and skills in elder care to young persons between the ages of 17 – 25. Trainees are actively engaged in classroom session and supervised in field placements in private homes and institutional settings in the trainee’s community. Trainee assessment and support are ongoing. Key objectives of the programme include:

  • Develop a sense of self-worth and self-discipline among young persons
  • Bridge the gap between young persons and the elderly thereby allowing for more effective interaction and positive outcomes
  • Develop caring skills in young people
  • Foster national consciousness
  • Improve social interaction among people in communities

 

Retiree Adolescent Partnership Programme (RAPP) – The Retiree Adolescent Partnership Programme (RAPP) is a community- oriented programme developed by the Ministry of Community Development which seeks to utilize the skills and experience of retired persons to provide assistance and supervision for School age youth (9-21 yrs.) Key objectives of the programme include:

  • To provide youths aged (9-21) with access to supplemental and remedial classes and guidance in character formation.
  • To expose participants to sports, culture and life skills in order to facilitate their holistic development.
  • To engage retired persons in the process of nation building.
  • To promote mentoring and support for our youth within the Community Environment.
  • To provide a disciplined and nurturing environment for young people to learn.

 

Family Support National Parenting Programme –The division of Family Services is the primary institution in Trinidad and Tobago that provides a range of social work interventions to promote healthy family functioningFamily services provides preventive, developmental and remedial programs and services. Issues addressed include

  • Abuse/Incest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Marital Problems
  • Depression
  • Parenting
  • Family Life
  • Drug Abuse
  • Life Crises
  • Behavioural Issues
  • Financial Issues

Programmes and services provided include:

Community Workshops –

•    Parenting Skills

•    Violence in the Family

•    Support for Parents

•    Caregivers of Children

 

Rehabilitation of Families, Individuals and Children through:

•    Counselling

•    Advising

•    Consultation

•    Networking and Collaboration

•    Mediation

•    Advocacy

•    Placement

 

The Adult Education Programme contributes to the development of the nation’s human resources through the provision of basic education. This educational programme provides opportunities for adults or out-of-school youth, who have not graduated, to further their education. Educational opportunities exist in the areas of:

  • Remedial education, to enable students to successfully write the Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations;
  • Introductory occupational courses, to provide basic practical training to unemployed adults who are out of school;
  • Literacy programmes, to address illiteracy problems through new initiatives in educational planning and development;
  • Family life education, to develop an understanding of the family and how it is influenced by and contributes to society; and
  • Leisure-time programmes

 

This programme aims to increase access to quality education opportunities for all citizens and promote skills development, in order to increase employability, entrepreneurship and the development of meaningful contributors to the global environment. It also aims to promote partnership building at the local, national and regional levels, between public authorities and education service providers, the business sector and other social partners. Finally it is hoped that the programme will create a sustainable culture of lifelong learning throughout the nation.

 

Grants

Grants and Services Brochure

Public Assistance Grant – This grant provides financial aid to vulnerable citizens, unable to earn a living to support themselves or dependents because of illness, injury, imprisonment, death and/or abandonment by a parent or guardian. It is also paid on behalf of needy children whose fathers, mothers or both parents have died, are hospitalized, imprisoned or have deserted the family. This grant is also paid to a parent or guardian on behalf of a child with a severe disability and where the household income is deemed inadequate. The payment schedule for this grant is as follows:

 

No. of Persons Public Assistance Payment
       1  $1150
       2  $1400
       3  $1600
       4 or more  $1750

 

Senior Citizens Pension – This grant provides financial assistance to Senior Citizens of

Trinidad and Tobago. Qualifying persons must be sixty-five (65) years and over. Applicants must be resident in Trinidad and Tobago for twenty (20) years preceding the date of application. Any periods of absence must not total more than five (5) years during the twenty (20) years preceding the application.  OR The applicant must have lived fifty (50) years in total in Trinidad and Tobago. N.B. (the years do not need to be consecutive) Income – Applicant’s monthly income must not exceed $4,500 TTD per month (pension varies according to monthly income). The following table lists income and the associated pension level.

 

Income Senior Citizens Pension
$0 – $1,500  $3500
$1,500.01 -$2000  $3000
$2,000.01 -$2,500  $2500
$2500.01- $3,000  $2000
$3,000.01 – $3,500  $1500
$3,500.01 -$4,000  $1000
$4000.01 – $4,500  $500

 

 

Disability Assistance Grant – A persons aged 18 years and above who is in the opinion of the Local Board so disabled that he is unable to earn a livelihood and has been certified by a Medical Officer as being so disabled and whose annual income does not exceed $12,000 may apply to this programme. This grant is in the amount of $1800 per month.

 

General Assistance Grant – This programme under the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services offers a range of grants to nationals who are in dire need of temporary assistance.  These grants primarily target clients of the service delivery units of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services and other needy persons. The programme also allows support to needy individuals in crisis and emergency situations or who are victims of natural or man-made disasters. Applicants will be required to provide estimates of items from recognized establishments along with other supporting documents.  Items that can be funded under this grant include the following:

  • House Repair – This grant provides assistance to clients to purchase building materials for construction or repair of their homes. A one-off grant of $15,000.00 is given to persons to access materials from a reputable hardware. In times of disaster the amount given under this grant is $20,000.00.
  • Household Items – This grant can be accessed by needy persons to purchase household items such as stoves, refrigerators and furniture. This grant can also be accessed by victims of natural or man-made disasters and is accessed only once in a three year period.
  • Medical Equipment– Under this grant needy persons can qualify for wheelchairs, commodes, special beds, dentures etc. The amount allowed under this grant is $7,500.00.
  • Home Help Aid – This grant facilitates the provision of part-time domestic help for three (3) months in the first instance but not more than six (6) months if deemed necessary to clients who are unable to perform normal household chores, for example, whilst recuperating from surgery, and are unable to afford the cost of domestic assistance. The amount paid to a care giver is $1,800.00 per month.
  • Dietary Grant – This grant of $600.00 per month assists clients who suffer illnesses which require special diets, for example, renal patients and clients with uncontrolled diabetes. It is to be noted that this is only offered where the person has to purchase food and other such items that is outside of what they would normally purchase and where they are unable to meet the cost of these items. This service is only extended to persons who are on grants of Ministry of the People and Social Development. This grant is made on a continuous basis as prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  • Clothing Grant – Currently available to persons at $500.00 per person to a maximum of four persons per family. This grant provides assistance to needy persons, victims of disaster to purchase essential items of clothing. Applicants can access this grant only once every two years. This grant be limited to the number of persons living in the household.
  • Funeral Grant – This grant of $7000.00 is intended to assist in the burial of deceased persons who have no one willing and/or financially able to undertake the cost of burial. This grant can be issued to needy families of the deceased under two circumstances:
    • In instances before the funeral takes place and accompanied by the appropriate documents to support the claims, that is, death certificate and estimates from funeral home, or
    • It can be issued as a reimbursement for the costs incurred for burials undertaken within three months following death. Claims must be justifiable and accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents, that is, death certificate and bills outlining expenditure. Accordingly, this grant will not be entertained where funeral arrangements have already been made and where the cost is in excess of this amount by more than $3,000.
  • Education Grant – For children who are attending secondary schools and where the Public Assistance and/or the Food Card is the only source of income and who are unable to meet the varying cost associated with the following:
    • Transportation (Where there is no public transportation system available)
    • Cater for any special needs associated with school attendance where government agencies are not already providing such assistance. Such needs must be verified. The amount allowable is $500.00 per month per child.
  • Special Child Grant – This grant targets children with a severe disorder. It provides assistance to parents who are unable to meet the financial cost of caring for a special child. The grant can be accessed for children under the age of eighteen and is given for a one year period, followed by a review. This grant will be paid to parents of special children where their income is deemed inadequate. The amount allowed under this grant is $800.00 per month per child.

NB. A child on whose behalf Public Assistance is paid will not be eligible for this grant

  • Pharmaceutical – This grant of is provided for the purchase of prescriptive medication only if drugs are not available under the C-Dap Programme or at the Public Dispensaries. Suitable persons are allowed a three month supply up to $2,500.00 and are paid once per year.

 

  • House Rent – This grant is used to assist clients who are temporarily unable to pay their rent, or to assist clients who need new accommodation and are unable to meet initial payments. Persons who benefit from this grant are usually on the verge of eviction, fire victims and victims of domestic violence. The amount allowed under this grant is $7,500.00 to cover a three month period.
  • School Supplies Grant- Grant given to children who are attending primary and secondary schools whose books/uniform were destroyed in a natural or man-made disasters, assistance will be provided as follows:
    • $1,000.00 for children attending Secondary School
    • $750.00 for children attending primary school.
  • Urgent Temporary Assistance (Emergency assistance) – This grant is given to nationals in emergency cases who are in dire need of financial assistance and is paid in cash. The amount allowed is $300.00 per person.

 

Sowing Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development (SEED) – seeks to improve the standard and quality of life of our nation’s citizens through programmes and facilities that are developmental and entrepreneurial in nature.  Small grants are provided to assist clients who are interested in starting a business or improving their skills set. The beneficiaries of this programme include persons living in poverty, welfare recipients and other persons over the age of 18 and in receipt of benefits from the Ministry. SEED assists persons in need who are interested in undertaking a micro-project (small business venture or skills training) with a grant of up to $15,000.00.

 

Regional Micro-Project Fund (RMPF) – provides micro-grants to Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to implement poverty reduction projects within their communities. Groups can access a maximum of TT$50,000.00 and this can be used to fund joint projects between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Government Organisations to undertake activities in all sectors of the economy, e.g. Agriculture, Education, Food and Nutrition, Health, Information Technology, Environment, Tourism, Sports, Life and Vocational Skills.