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Cayman: Department of Children and Family Services Honours Outstanding Achievements at 2024 DCFS Awards Ceremony

Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – 10 April 2024: The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) proudly celebrated the exemplary contributions of its dedicated team at the DCFS Awards ceremony, held on Friday, 22 March at The Vault. Under the theme of Social Work Month, “Empowering Social Workers: Inspiring Action, Leading Change”, the event was attended by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Deputy Premier André Ebanks and Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale of the Cayman Islands who extended their support, shared words of wisdom, and presented awards to recipients.

Highlighting the significance of the occasion, the Deputy Premier, in his address, shared an inspiring quote from the late Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”, emphasising the impact of compassionate care and empathy in social work, particularly during Social Work Month. 

Acting Deputy Director of DCFS, Tiffany Myles introduced the esteemed keynote speaker, Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale, who delivered a captivating keynote address. Commending the Department and its team of social workers for their role in safeguarding the well-being of children and families in the Cayman Islands, the Chief Justice expressed her gratitude to the awardees for their invaluable contributions to the community, reinforcing the importance of their dedication. “I am so honoured to have been invited to address you as you observe Social Work Month and to celebrate the Department and its dedicated team of social workers who reaffirm every day their commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our children and families and who collectively and individually have made invaluable contributions to our community. Contributions which too often go unnoticed and uncelebrated.” She concluded, “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all awardees today and extend my thanks to each of you for your commitment to serve. I look forward to working with you as you continue to build a brighter future for the children and families of the Cayman Islands, guided by the principles of integrity, empathy, and solidarity.”

Shanda Gallego from the Cayman Compass served as host, while Jodian Mcleod, Social Worker, led the Invocation and Social Work Prayer. Khadijah Lewin, Social Worker, delivered the welcome address, setting the tone for the event’s proceedings and award announcements. 

DCFS Award Winners for 2024:

Social Work Manager of the Year 2024 Presented by Deputy Governor Manderson: Nicole Quinland

The Joyce Hylton Award Social Worker of the Year 2024 Presented by Deputy Premier Ebanks: – Calvin Duncan

Special Award (Past Director) Presented by Paulinda Mendoza-Williams: Leanora Wynter-Young

Adult Special Needs Team Employee of the Year, Golden Age Home: Andrea Ferron-Brown

Adult Special Needs Team Employee of the Year, Habakkuk House: Marvaten Perry

Adult Special Needs Team Employee of the Year, Maple House: Jennifer Bingham

Team Member of the Year Award(s):

  1. Saskia Hurlston-Bodden- Community Development
  2. Calvin Duncan- Youth Services
  3. Sherine Barnes- Child Safeguarding
  4. Keisha Smith- Elderly Services
  5. Kai Matthews-Mowatt- Family Services
  6. Sharrel Jackson- Foster Care and Adoptions
  7. Bouvia Ferguson- Social Worker Cayman Brac
  8. Donnette Scott-Powery- Support Services

Over the past 4 years DCFS has acknowledged the contributions of former DCFS Directors and Deputy Directors with a Special Award. This year they recognised another DCFS trailblazer, Leonora Wynter-Young, for her contributions to the department and social work practice in the Cayman Islands. 

In her vote of thanks, Mya Dunkley, Social Worker, expressed gratitude to all attendees and special contributors, and emphasised the collective effort required to best support the children and families of the Cayman Islands. 

Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, Director of the Department of Children and Family Services commented on the dedication and commitment of the award winners, “Our awardees exemplify the very essence of compassion and service. Their remarkable contributions shine as guiding beacons, illuminating the path towards a brighter, more inclusive future for the children and families of the Cayman Islands.” 

The DCFS Awards ceremony served as a poignant reminder of the invaluable contributions made by social workers in nurturing and protecting the most vulnerable members of society, demonstrating their indispensable role in fostering an inclusive, caring and supportive community.

About the Department of Children and Family Services:

The Department of Children and Family Services protects and promotes the rights and welfare of children and families through the use of preventative interventions, education, advocacy and community–based programmes that serve to strengthen family bonds and build stronger communities.


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