US Virgin Islands, Federal Officials Discuss Family Assistance Programmes

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 11, 2012

Above: USVI Governor John de Jongh at a school ceremony last week

By the Caribbean Journal staff

US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh met this week with Earl Johnson, director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance to talk about a number of programmes focused on family assistance.

The two were joined by USVI Human Services Commissioner Chris Finch. Johnson was in the USVI as part of a trip supporting the “Man Up” programmes which began this week.

According to de Jongh, the sides discussed the “success the Virgin Islands had in operating a subsidized employment programme with stimulus funding and our interest in doing more if funding is again available.”

The meeting also covered the Department of Human Services’ interest in initiatives dealing with fatherhood and health marriages.

Johnson is responsible for the $17 billion Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which is administered in the Virgin Islands by the Department of Human Services.

Further funding from that programme and other cash assistance may be limited, which could cause problems for the territory due to the impact of the closure of the HOVENSA refinery.

The “Man Up” programme is a series of conferences aimed at male empowerment, particularly for youth, in the territory.

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