The Poor Relief Department is the welfare arm of the St. Thomas Parish Council. It was established as a result of the Poor Relief Act which was enacted on April 29, 1886 and modified numerous times over the years, the last being in.
The Board of Supervision is the legal body that supervises the Poor Relief Department Island wide. The Poor Relief Committee (a sub-committee of the Parish Council) is the manager of the poor on behalf of the Council as stipulated by the Poor Relief Act.
The department is administered and operated by a group of Social Workers known as Poor Relief Officers. The chief among them is the Inspector of Poor. There is the Deputy Inspector of Poor, and Assistant Inspector of Poor (Poor Relief Officers / Social Workers)
The Poor Relief Officer / Social workers are in charge of six areas within the parish, of St. Thomas (Cedar Valley, Seaforth, Morant Bay, Yallahs, Port Morant, and Bath) one officer is responsible for two areas.
The Department is governing by the Poor Relief Act which sets out the criteria for assistance. The department works closely with other agencies to provide efficient service to the clients.