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Social workers celebrated at awards presentation

Bermuda's social workers have been celebrated as part of April's Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The late Ida James, Dr Norma Astwood, Maureen Trew, Dianna Taylor, Glenda Edwards, Alfred Maybury, Carolyn Webbe, Sharon Merlo and Nelson Bascome were all honoured at Saturday's Social Work Ball, hosted by the Department of Child and Family Services at the Fairmont Southampton.

Also recognised were Elaine Charles, Gloria Gillis, Marronette Hollis, Melvin Simmons, Dianna Simmons, Lauren Trott and Carolyn Walker for “the contributions and sacrifices made by in the field of social work.”

Long Service Awards were presented to Wendy Parsons-Davis, Andalyn Swan, Maureen Trew, Alfred Maybury Jr, Rudolph Dill and Peri Nolan-Trott.

The keynote speaker at the event was senior magistrate Juan Wolffe.

The following biographies were provided by the Department of Child and Family Services on those who received awards:

• The late Ida James was the first Bermudian to receive a bursary from the Bermuda Government to study social work, and returned to Bermuda in 1972 with her Master of Social Work degree. She became a social worker with the Department of Health and Welfare where she would remain for 36 years. Ms James was one of the original founders of the Social Workers Association of Bermuda. She was awarded the Trailblazer Award posthumously. Ms James' nephew, Mr Peter James, received the Award in memory of his late aunt.

• Dr Norma Astwood OBE was the first Bermudian clinical psychologist and the first woman to serve as vice-president for the Senate. Between 1974 and 1982, she served the Bermuda Department of Education as the psychologist to schools. She then became the Director of Social Services in the Ministry of Health and Social Services. She was presented with the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and honoured as a “community hero” in Bermuda in 2015. She received the Trailblazer award

• Maureen Trew was presented with the Long Service Award. She is the Intake/Investigation Supervisor and joined DCFS on September 1, 1988. Ms Trew celebrates 29 years of service with DCFS.

• Dianna Taylor worked at Family Services servicing Intake and Foster Care clients. In 1998 she became the first coordinator for the Intake Team. She introduced Mandatory Reporting and established the first Child Abuse Hotline for the Department of Child and Family Services. Ms Taylor would serve as Director of the Department of Financial Assistance from December 2003 until her retirement from the Government in January 2017. She was presented with the Trailblazer Award.

• After more than 30 years of service with DCFS Glenda Edwards was also honoured with the Trailblazer Award. She was the Supervisor of Family Services which included child abuse, foster care, adoption, and custody evaluations. She was one of the founding members of the Child Protection Team at the Hospital (CPT-KEMH) and the High Risk Interagency Committee (THRIC). Mrs. Edwards was involved in revising and implementing legislation related to The Children Act 1998, The Child Amendment Act 2002, and the Amendment to the Adoption Act, 2006.

• In 1998 Mrs Carolyn Webbe became the Unit Coordinator for Foster Care — a position she held until her retirement in 2006. She has since provided the Department of Child and Family Services with clinical services in 2010, 2012-2013, and currently avails herself to conduct local Adoption Home Studies. She was presented with the Trailblazer Award.

• Mrs Sharon Merlo became DCFS' first Coordinator for Residential Treatment Services. Working tirelessly for over 40 years, she was honoured with the Trailblazer Award.

• In 1980 the late Nelson Bascome began his career with the Social Services Department as a Residential Care Worker with the Youth Development Centre. He then went on to the Department of Social Assistance as a Social Worker. Mr. Bascome's career path led him to head the first Social Work Department of Housing. The Department of Child and Family Services honoured the Mr Bascome with the Trailblazer Award posthumously. Mr Bascome's wife, Shirlene Bascome, received the Award on behalf of her late husband.

From left to right, Peter James, Nandi Outerbridge, Minister of Social Development, Dr Norma Astwood, Maureen Trew, Dianna Taylor, Wayne Carey, Glenda Edwards, Alfred Maybury, Carolyn Webbe, Sharon Merlo and Shirlene Bascome

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Published May 04, 2017 at 4:25 pm (Updated May 04, 2017 at 5:27 pm)

Social workers celebrated at awards presentation

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