Lift Will Stabilize Families While Discouraging Non-productivity And Entitlement, Says PS Clarke

Minister of State Phillip and Permanent Secretary Clarke.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Livelihood Improvement Family Transformation (LIFT) programme has mechanisms built in that will aid in stabilizing vulnerable families while helping to discourage complacency and attitudes of entitlement.

Minister of State Phillip and Permanent Secretary Clarke.

Entitlement, non-productivity and a lack of transparency were major concerns shared by officials within the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs, who identified many troubling issues of such in the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) – the programme that precedes (LIFT). On the March 06, edition of InFocus, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs, Azilla Clarke, highlighted how officials plan to address these issues when LIFT is launched on April 01, 2024.

In social work, there is a view to stabilize a person or a family, because if I am in crisis I am not thinking about the next step. I just need to be stabilized. But stabilization, in and of itself, is a period. We have allowed that period to go on for quite a while so it’s now transitioned from stabilization to entitlement and non-productivity,” said Ms. Clarke. “So we are aware of that and that’s why we are putting in more person-to-person interaction, asking the persons what they need and their goals, what do they want to see change? Because remember the title is transformation, making a change in your situation, so what about your current situation that you think can change to be able to elevate you one step closer to the goal that you and your family have.”

In addition to closer case management where the department staff interacts regularly with LIFT beneficiaries, the individuals receiving the cash transfer will be strongly encouraged to participate in empowerment sessions on financial literacy, starting and managing a business and more. Additionally, the beneficiaries will be offered advice on job hunting, ways to excel at a job interview, etc. from the Department of Employment and Labour.

Minister of State responsible for Social Development, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, noted that these will be “part and parcel” of the requirements for LIFT “where we get an assessment of the people and what they are interested in, what their needs are and see how we can connect them to wraparound services,” she stated, noting that the end goal is for persons to learn and develop skills to help support their own independence.

LIFT will provide up to $600 cash transfer social assistance per month to households and families earning less than $2,500.

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