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Social Services threatens to end aid to rude people

The Department of Social Services is threatening to terminate the assistance provided to anyone who acts disorderly at any of its local centers.

The threat follows two days of unruly behavior by individuals who reportedly showed up at the Horseshoe Drive location hurling abusive and threatening words at social workers.

The Horseshoe Drive center distributes food vouchers.

In one instance on Tuesday, an employee was hurt and had to be treated for a hand injury, Deputy Director of Social Services Mavis Darling-Hill confirmed toThe Nassau Guardian.

Yesterday, State Minister for Social Development Loretta Butler-Turner said that any form of abuse would not be tolerated.

“I would advise individuals approaching the Department of Social Services to please be patient, please exercise good judgment and not be abusive,”Butler-Turner urged.

“We will have posted at Social Services windows that individuals who are abusive to social workers, that their assistance will be suspended or even terminated. So my advice to them is to come and be respectful and certainly respect the fact that you will be served.”

On Wednesday, several people complained that they had arrived at the Horseshoe Drive location at 5 a.m. and by 10.30 a.m. had not been served, without explanation.

They called for a change in the system.

However, Butler-Turner noted that there was no need to show up to Social Services at 5 a.m. because government offices did not open until 9 a.m.

She said if people behaved in an orderly fashion they would be served in an orderly fashion.

“It is a very unfortunate incident that clients presenting at that particular site would be so abusive towards these social workers who are doing the best they can under extenuating circumstances,”said Butler-Turner.

She said the ministry had secured help from the police to assist in security surveillance at all of its locations.

“I take this very seriously because I truly feel that the social workers are sometimes truly under recognized for the extreme work that they do in helping the society to continue to function, and that people can come there and be abusive to them is totally unacceptable,”Butler-Turner said.

The Horseshoe Drive location, known as Center A, is the busiest of the centers. It covers the entire western district of New Providence, from Blue Hill Road to the southern area of New Providence, including the Carmichael area.

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