Standing in the gap of every individual or family going through a difficult challenge in life – whether it’s poverty, addictions, abuse, domestic violence, grief and loss, early school drop outs, unemployment, disability, mental illness, discrimination or anything other social ill, – is a social worker waiting to help.

Through their commitment to bringing about positive social change, helping individuals of all ages thrive in their local environment and being an advocate for those who have lost their voice, social workers play a prominent role in improving the lives of those who need it most.

The Department of Social Development, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication join with the rest of the world in observing the month of March, as National Professional Social Work Month.  The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘The Power of social work: Making human connection in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ which focuses on the root of the social work practice that lays the foundation for our communities, people, groups and organizations for sustainable social development.

In commemorating this month, the Department will be hosting a series of events designed to spotlight the social work profession and to celebrate the valuable contributions they have made throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The following activities are scheduled to take place throughout the Islands:

  • Give Back Day –  Social Workers Community Cleanup Day 
  • Social Workers ‘Who We Are & What We Do’ Door to Door Campaign
  • Dissemination of Pamphlets, Brochures, Handouts 
  • Social workers will be guest on Radio Talk Shows
  • Social Workers Recognition within the TCIG Service (Government Press Release and Newspaper)
  • Social Work Retreat

Hon. Vaden Delroy Williams, Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication expressed his delight in sharing in the events marking Social Workers month, stating; “Our Social Workers play important roles in assisting our residents through the various social programs, you have made positive social changes, improved the lives of individuals and families and will continue to do more in the future.”

“Your unwavering commitment to the well-being of your clients here in TCI does not go unnoticed, there is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life. Continue in your pursuit and maintenance of human well-being, as you aim to maximize the development of human potential and fulfillment of human needs and do that of which you are so diligently called.”

“On behalf of the Government and people of the TCI we say thanks and we appreciate you.”



On 7th April, 2017, the Turks and Caicos Islands will join in the annual celebration of World Health Day. Introduced during the First World Health Assembly in 1948, and implemented in 1950, April 7th, has been set aside for this observance and addressing issues stemming from the annual Global Burden of Disease Report.

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence in the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services will spearhead this year’s activities as the theme chosen is “Depression: Let’s talk!”

Statistics released from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 indicates that depression has been recorded as a major contributor to the global burden of disease and has seen over an 18 percent increase in reported and diagnosed cases since 2005.

The latest Report from WHO reveals the startling statistic that approximately 300 million persons are living with depression; this represents more than 4 percent of the global population. Furthermore, depression has been known to increase susceptibility to non-communicable diseases and can also be a result of diseases already contracted. Unfortunately, serious depression can lead to suicide and it is reported that close to 800,000 die by suicide every year. While statistics in the Turks and Caicos Islands are of no comparison to the global figures, it should be noted that 20 percent of persons assessed and receiving treatment by the Department, as well as 47.6 percent of those admitted to the hospital by the Department are linked to Depression.

In an effort to ensure that the majority of these cases do not result in lack of treatment, self-injury or death, the Department is asking for the community to support the activities that will be taking place, as stigma and discrimination is still a concern for many requiring mental health care.

On World Health Day and the days leading up to it, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence will engage in a number of activities to increase awareness about the disorder and treatment opportunities. This will include:

  • Appearance on Health Matters -3rd April, 2017
  • Release of Depression article 7th April, 2017
  • Airing of Video Testimonials on Depression 7th April, 2017
  • Depression Screening – 7th April, 2017 (Cheshire Hall Medical Centre & Cockburn Town Medical Centre)

For more information on World Health Day, or for assistance contact the Department of Mental Health & Substance Dependence, on the following numbers;

338-3613 Grand Turk

338-4737 Providenciales

338-6301 South Caicos



Thousands of women from countries around the world gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during March 12th – 18th 2017, for the 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women under the theme, Women’s Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work.”

A team of three persons namely Deputy Secretary, Mrs. Bridgette Newman, Gender Affairs Coordinator Mrs. Carolyn Dickenson and Acting Executive Administrator to the Minister, Ms. Kamala Roberts joined colleagues from other Overseas Territories under the United Kingdom’s delegation.

The conference was seen as an important opportunity to evaluate the progress made in the implementation of agreed conclusions from the fifty-eighth session (2014), on ‘Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.’ It also allowed persons to take stock of the progress made in achieving goals outlined in (CEDAW) Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women as well as provide critical reflection on the direction to be taken in gender equality programming.

The TCI delegation participated in several meetings at the UK Mission to the United Nations, chief among which was a Ministerial session held on Tuesday, March 13th with other Overseas Territories counterparts and was chaired by GEO Director, Hilary Spencer.  The session also allowed for the reaffirmation of our commitment to gender equality and equity goals in the sub region.

The main session focused on (CEDAW) Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women and what member states were doing to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equality and the rights and protection of women and girls as well as strengthening the family initiative.

The team was particularly delighted to share some of the achievements of women in the TCI, which were also highlighted in the recently presented CEDAW Report. Colleagues from Bermuda were eager to hear about strategies that had been successfully implemented in the TCI to bring about such positive outcomes.

The TCI delegation was also privileged to attend a reception in honour of His Excellency, Mr. Matthew Rycroft, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations where they were able to interact with personnel from the United Kingdom and United Nations.

Plenary sessions were also organized to facilitate exchange of experiences and best practices at both a national and international level. These discussions were focused on a number of sub topics with emphasis being placed on “ending violence against women and girls”.

Outside of the events planned by the UN to the UK Mission, the team attended a number of other sessions, which included; Women and work: Expanding leadership, Pay Equity and Economic Power, Strengthening Spaces, working to end violence against women, Gender and work in the Global Economy: 21 Nations, Women’s Economic Empowerment- Grassroots Rural Women’s Perspective and Wanted: Economic Empowerment and Equality, not the Sex Trade. 

Commenting on CSW61, Gender Affairs Coordinator Mrs. Carolyn Dickenson stated; “The conference was an awesome experience, as the team was able to hear firsthand some of the challenges and experiences of women who continue to fight for gender equality and economic empowerment of both women and girls. It also gave us a greater sense of appreciation for the many achievements and successes of women here in the Turks and Caicos Islands who continue to play leading roles in all spheres of public and private life.”