Three women take up major positions in Ministry of Social Transformation

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Three women, Farmala Jacobs, Feona Charles-Richards and Alethea Byers, are now the Executive Director of the Directorate of Gender Affairs, Acting Director of the Family and Social Services Division and Advisor to the Minister on matters relating to Child Care and Child Protection in the Ministry of Social Transformation, respectively.

Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development, Youth and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Samantha Marshall, made the announcement during her debate on the 2020 budget in the Lower House of Parliament on Wednesday 6th February, 2020.

Jacobs who was appointed as the Acting Director in July of 2015, holds a Bachelor’s in Science Degree from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Walden University in Minnesota USA.

Minister Marshall publicly congratulated Jacobs and her team at the Directorate for the strides they have been making in their fight for gender equality and gender equity.

Meanwhile, Minister Marshall also announced the appointment of Feona Charles-Richards as the Acting Director of the Family Social Services taking over from Ms. Alethea Byers, who took up the position in May of 2016.

Charles-Richards has served as Deputy Director and also the head of the Substance-use Prevention Assessment and Rehabilitation Center (SPARC), formerly called the Substance Abuse Center.

Charles-Richards holds a BSc in psychology and sociology from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and an MSc in Clinical Psychology, UWI Mona. She is a practicing Mental Health Practitioner with specialisation in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and Mental Emotional Release (MER).

Alethea Byers, former Director of the Family and Social Services Division will now serve as an advisor to the Minister on matters relating to child care and protection.

She holds a Master of Social Work degree specialising in Clinical Social Work from the University of the West Indies Mona Campus as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work and Criminology, also from Mona.

She is certified in social services, counseling and child rights, and is the point person within the Ministry for the Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP). She has worked in the Probation Unit for the past 17 years and was appointed Principal Probation Officer in 2012. Byers is also a consultant/facilitator for CARICOM and USAID/OECS.

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