Help for poor Bajan mothers

(Barbados Nation) Financial help may soon be available to poor Bajan mothers who have to raise children without the help of delinquent fathers.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart intends to provide relatively small sums of money to mothers who are unable to collect court-ordered maintenance for their children because of the inability of unemployed fathers to pay.

Stuart made the disclosure during a town hall meeting in Washington, DC, last Sunday attended by at least 150 Bajans at the Church Of The Holy Comforter, an Episcopal/Anglican parish.

He didn’t provide specific details but indicated the payments would be small, and fathers would ultimately have to repay the Government once they were back on their financial feet.

“Whether a father pays maintenance for his child or not, that does not mean the child does not have to eat; does not mean that the child doesn’t have to go to school; does not mean the child’s myriad needs do not have to be satisfied . . . ”

“What Government is now looking at is trying to fine tune, for imminent implementation, putting a mechanism in place where when a mother pays two bus fares to get to a Magistrates’ Court to collect maintenance for her children, only to hear from a poker-face court clerk, ‘Sorry, no money is here’, that there is some sum of money, some minimum sum of money, that can be put in that mother’s hand so she doesn’t go back home empty-handed’.”

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