Wed | Mar 20, 2019

Letter of the Day | Security, access to CPFSA office outrageous

Published:Wednesday | July 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Last week, I had business to conduct at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) located in Spanish Town, St Catherine. Located on the third floor and with the elevator out of service, I had to take the staircase.

With the Government pushing the 'Jamaica Moves' initiative, taking the staircase was not such a bad idea. I was told the elevator has not worked in more than four years.

However, what came as a shock were the persons doing business with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security office sitting on the stairs, blocking my path. OK, being polite while burning calories was not such a bad idea. But now I was required to test my balance and grip firmly the railing for the fear of rolling down the stairs because some genius decided to tile the floor with very slippery tiles.

While I was able to conduct business, it made me think of the Government's position to have offices that can be accessed by all citizens. What about the disabled community and older persons who must conduct business with the MLSS on the first floor? Certainly, this logistic is a nightmare and sends the message that disabled and older persons should not try accessing basic social services.

Is it that all the talk in Parliament about facilitating the disabled is all for naught?

Another deficiency identified was the non-existence of a security guard at the CPFSA office. Perched on the third floor, the employees are targets for boisterous parents or children. Who will protect those employed to protect the nation's most vulnerable?

To avert hindsight decisions, I am urging the authorities to make a decision to fix the ills of that building or relocate the offices so that it can be accessed by all.