The decay of the family unit is stretching resources even thinner at the Needs Assessment Unit.
That’s what minister of community affairs Honorable Osbourne Bodden said today in the Legislative Assembly chamber, where the minister was peppered with questions about the NAU’s backlog for assistance.
He said a crackdown on deadbeat dads could help take more families off the dole.
Deadbeat dads came under fire on the floor of the legislative assembly Wednesday (27 April).
“When they find out they will be taken to court, they stop work. They will stop work to not have to pay, that is how serious this is,” said Mr. Bodden incredulously. “And then they got the heart to come back and ask for assistance themselves? This is a serious matter guys.”
Mr. Bodden told fellow lawmakers the problem of absentee fatherhood is putting even more strain on the Needs Assessment Unit, a unit that’s already under-resourced and dealing with a 350-deep backlog of permanent assistance requests. He said it’s time to hold those who don’t support their children to account.
“People have to know that if you’re making children out there, you have to do for those children, it’s as simple as that,” said Mr. Bodden.
“Madam speaker, I agree with the minister,” said East End MLA Arden McLean. “Let’s garnish people’s wages, it takes two to tango.”
Mr. McLean questioned whether the NAU, the NWDA, and the Department of Children and Family Services are effectively collaborating.
“I believe there’s some relationship there to know where those families are, and taking them to court,” he said.
Mr. Bodden said solutions aren’t soon coming. He said roughly 2,000 families are receiving some sort of temporary assistance from the NAU, and another 850 families are on permanent assistance.
He said there is no backlog for temporary help.