(GIS) – The Ministry of Community Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Paulinda Mendoza-Williams as Director of the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) effective 13 November 2018.

Following a recent recruitment process, which attracted a number of strong candidates, Mrs Mendoza-Williams was offered the DCFS directorship. Felicia Robinson, the current Director, and Mrs Mendoza-Williams are working together during an interim transition period.

“I want to thank Mrs. Robinson for her two years of dedicated service to the Ministry, the Department and the community and wish her well in her future endeavours,” said Chief Officer Teresa Echenique. “She has been instrumental in establishing key foundational work in DCFS to enhance and develop services.”

Mrs Mendoza-Williams has 20 plus years of experience in the social work profession. She originally started as a social worker and steadily progressed in the department. Currently Deputy Director of Clinical Services, Mrs Mendoza-Williams has been in this role since October 2012. She has also acted in the capacity of Director numerous times. In 2015-16 she was Acting Director for 10 months, prior to Mrs Robinson’s appointment.

Most recently, Mrs Mendoza-Williams was seconded to the Ministry of Community Affairs. As Assistant Chief Officer in February 2018, she was responsible for oversight of the review and policy development of the Cayman Islands Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

As Deputy Director, Mrs Mendoza-Williams is actively involved in restructuring the Department to reflect a more specialised approach to social work delivery.

Her other job-related accomplishments include assisting with the restructuring of the financial assistance programme by establishing the Needs Assessment Unit; the development, implementation, monitoring and review of legislation and policies that impact best practice in social work such as the Children Law, Youth Justice and Adoption Laws.

“I am extremely humbled and excited to be given this opportunity to take up the role of Director,” said Mrs Mendoza-Williams.” A significant amount of my career and professional development has been focused on serving my community effectively. Along with the hardworking DCFS staff, I will continue developing and enhancing the work of the department by ensuring legislation, best practice and policy are employed to promote positive social change.”

Photo by Elphina Jones, GIS