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Cayman Islands University partners in social work programme launch and social sector expo

More than 200 people attended the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) Social Work Programme launch and Social Sector Expo in the campus’s Sir Vassel Johnson Hall.

The launch on Wednesday, 28 March 2018, formally announced the commencement of the Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree programme in September 2018. The UCCI will also be offering a certificate in social work to be taken over one-year full-time or two-year part-time and an associate degree to be taken two-year full-time or three-year part-time.

A highlight of the evening was the announcement of two social work scholarships. One scholarship is from the estate of the late Mike Simmons in honour of National Hero and the islands’ first director of Social Services Joyce Hylton, MBE, Cert. Hon. The other bursary is being given by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Grand Cayman for any course undertaken at either UCCI or the International College of the Cayman Islands.

UCCI’s President Roy Bodden, Ministry of Community Affairs Councillor Austin Harris, Ministry of Education Chief Officer Christen Suckoo and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Director Felicia Robinson offered remarks.

“I often think of the University College of the Cayman Islands in the same way Napoleon thought of the conscript army,” said Mr. Bodden, talking about offering new programmes to meet the needs of the community. “That father of military genius said that [the army] was for France the vitality of the nation and so for the Cayman Islands the UCCI must be the vitality of the nation.”

Councillor Harris and Chief Officer Suckoo commended the UCCI for introducing its social work programme. Alluding to the islands’ growing population and the increasing need for more highly-trained social workers, they welcomed the advent of a programme that will provide a steady pool of social work professionals.

Mrs. Robinson expressed appreciation for UCCI’s foresight in engaging practising social work professionals “from the initial stages of the dialogue and enabling us to offer progressive inputs throughout the development stages from the programme prospectus planning; identification and review of courses to be offered.”

“We look forward to welcoming your students as field interns, and, as graduates into our agencies,” she said. “For the experienced social worker, the establishment of this programme also signals good news including new opportunities to participate in research, knowledge exchange and the promise of being able to pursue continuing professional development at home.”

The UCCI’s Director of Special Projects and Social Sciences Professor, Dr. Livingston Smith, gave a broad overview of the programme to be offered before Professor Kirsten Svensson of Lund University’s School of Social Work gave a keynote address.

Professor Svensson and Professor Christine Moriconi from West Chester University’s College of Health Services delivered a series of professional development master classes the next day.

The multi-agency Social Sector Expo showcased the services of the National Drug Council, Department of Counselling Services, DCFS, Ministry of Education’s Scholarship Secretariat, Department of Community Rehabilitation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands, Family Resource Centre, Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and DART Minds Inspired.

Attendees received giveaways, advice from agency staff, and information regarding the many complementary services the agencies provide.

The evening’s Launch and Expo were joint initiatives and appreciation was extended to those government ministries who were gold sponsors and the silver and bronze sponsors.


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