On Saturday, April 29, the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) hosted its first DCFS Social Work Ball at the Fairmont Southampton to honour the contributions and sacrifices made by persons in the field of Social Work.
The event was purposely hosted during the month of April as it is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Those receiving recognition for their dedication to the families of Bermuda included:
- Mrs. Elaine Charles
- Mrs. Gloria Gillis
- Mrs. Marronette Hollis
- Mr. Melvin Simmons
- Ms. Dianna Simmons
- Mrs. Lauren Trott
- Mrs. Carolyn Walker
Additionally, Long Service Awards were presented to:
- Mrs. Wendy Parsons-Davis, Residential Treatment Services, who joined DCFS on August 1, 1989
- Mrs. Andalyn Swan, Coordinator, Happy Valley Child Care Centre who joined DCFS on May 23, 1988.
- Ms Maureen Trew, Supervisor, Intake/Investigations who joined DCFS on September 1, 1988.
- Mr. Alfred Maybury, Jr., Director, who joined DCFS on December 14, 1987.
- Mr. Rudolph Dill, Maintenance Department, who joined DCFS on July 10, 1987.
- Mrs. Peri Nolan-Trott, Social Worker, who joined DCFS on March 23, 1987.
The Keynote speaker at the event was the Worshipful Juan Wolffe, JP.
Please find the attached photograph which depicts the following individuals (left to right):
- The late Ida James was the first Bermudian to receive a bursary from the Bermuda Government to study Social Work, and returned to Bermuda in 1972 with her Master of Social Work degree. She became a Social Worker with the Department of Health and Welfare where she would remain for 36 years. Ms James was one of the original founders of the Social Workers Association of Bermuda. The Department of Child and Family Services honoured the late Ida James with the Trailblazer Award, Posthumously. Ms James’ nephew, Mr. Peter James, received the Award in memory of his late aunt.
- Minister of Social Development and Sports, The Hon. Nandi Outerbridge, JP, MP.
- Dr. Norma Astwood OBE was the first Bermudian clinical psychologist and the first woman to serve as Vice President for the Senate of Bermuda. Between 1974 and 1982, she served the Bermuda Department of Education as the Psychologist to Schools. She then became the Director of Social Services in the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Dr. Astwood was presented with the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and honored as a "community hero" in Bermuda in 2015. The Department of Child and Family Services honoured Dr. Astwood with the Trailblazer Award.
- Maureen Trew was presented with the Long Service Award. She is the Intake/Investigation Supervisor and joined DCFS on September 1, 1988. Ms Trew celebrates 29 years of service with DCFS.
- Dianna Taylor began working at Family Services servicing Intake and Foster Care clients. In 1998 she became the first Coordinator for the Intake Team. She introduced Mandatory Reporting and established the first Child Abuse Hotline for the Department of Child and Family Services. Ms Taylor would serve as Director of the Department of Financial Assistance from December 2003 until her retirement from the Government of Bermuda in January 2017. The Department of Child and Family Services honoured Ms Taylor with the Trailblazer Award.
- Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Social Development and Sports Mr. Wayne Carey,
- After more than 30 years of service with DCFS Glenda Edwards was honoured with the Trailblazer Award. Mrs. Edwards was the Supervisor of Family Services which included child abuse, foster care, adoption, and custody evaluations. She was one of the founding members of the Child Protection Team at the Hospital (CPT-KEMH) and The High Risk Interagency Committee (T.H.R.I.C.). Mrs. Edwards was involved in revising and implementing Legislation related to The Children Act 1998, The Child Amendment Act 2002, and the Amendment to the Adoption Act, 2006.
- Mr. Alfred Maybury is the Director of Child and Family Services and joined DCFS on December 14, 1987. Mr. Maybury celebrates 30 years of services with DCFS.
- In 1998 Mrs. Carolyn Webbe became the Unit Coordinator for Foster Care - a position she held until her retirement in 2006. Mrs. Webbe has since provided the Department of Child and Family Services with clinical services in 2010, 2012-2013, and currently avails herself to conduct local Adoption Home Studies. The Department of Child and Family Services honoured Mrs. Webbe with the Trailblazer Award.
- Mrs. Sharon Merlo became DCFS’ first Coordinator for Residential Treatment Services. Working tirelessly for over 40 years Mrs. Merlo was honoured with the Trailblazer Award.
- In 1980 the late Nelson Bascome began his career with the Social Services Department as a Residential Care Worker with the Youth Development Centre. He then went on to the Department of Social Assistance as a Social Worker. Mr. Bascome’s career path led him to head the first Social Work Department of Housing. The Department of Child and Family Services honoured the late Nelson Bascome with the Trailblazer Award Posthumously. Mr. Bascome’s wife, Mrs. Shirlene Bascome, received the Award on behalf of her late husband.