(CMR) Minister for Investment, Innovation and Social Development (IISD) André Ebanks said his Ministry intends to advance innovative and authentic reforms that will maximize the potential of the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU).
“The Needs Assessment Unit serves Cayman’s most vulnerable people, and they must be assisted as a top priority. The new Ministry has the capacity and drive to reimagine the NAU’s processes and bring them to the standards our community deserves,” Ebanks said during a recent visit of the NAU.
He continued.”Those who seek assistance from NAU should be able to receive timely and accurate decisions from a simple-to-navigate process. We intend to advance innovative and authentic reforms that will maximize the potential of NAU’s hardworking staff to deliver a high standard of efficient service. Enhancing NAU’s ability to deliver will, in turn, enhance the lives of those we serve.”
Ebanks visited the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) office in Grand Cayman on Wednesday, 19 May. He was accompanied by Ministry Chief Officer Eric Bush, Deputy Chief Officer Andrea Fa’amoe, and other Ministry staff members.
Gathering with NAU Director Tamara Hurlston and the department’s staff members, they joined together in prayer, followed by a meaningful discussion on the current and desired future state of the Needs Assistance Unit and delivery of financial assistance to support our community.
Minister Ebanks, who formerly served as the Deputy Chief Officer in the Ministry of Community Affairs, reflected his delight and enthusiasm that the Department is housed within a Ministry whose remit also involves innovation.
To support this new direction, the Minister said that he was pleased to introduce NAU staff to Chief Officer Bush and his team, noting their keen interest, drive, and innovative abilities.
Chief Officer Bush told the NAU staff that he firmly believes now is a “prime opportunity to make social development significant” in the Cayman Islands. He noted the dedication to the community, skill, knowledge, and eagerness that both Minister Ebanks and Parliamentary Secretary Heather Bodden bring to their positions.
On behalf of the Ministry staff, CO Bush advocated a collaborative approach to produce “what success looks like for the NAU and its clients – and what direction and steps are needed to achieve that – in line with national priorities of the elected Government.”
NAU Director Tamara Hurlston welcomed the opportunity to work with the new Ministry team. She remarked that the Ministry, led by the newly elected Minister, presents an “inspiring and energizing opportunity to move forward with much-needed changes.”
In the coming weeks, Minister Ebanks, PS Heather Bodden, and the Ministry team will visit the NAU & Department of Children Family Service (DCFS) offices in Cayman Brac and will attend a church service there as Child Month comes to a close.