Vacancy at family services as boss retires

| 30/10/2011

(CNS): After some seventeen years as head of the children and family services department Deanna Look Loy has retired. According to a release from GIS the thirty three year veteran of the civil service stepped down on 2 September as a result of reaching the service’s compulsory retirement age. Officials said that an open recruitment process will begin shortly to find a successor to Look Loy who was described as .a “stalwart” by the community affairs minister Mike Adam.  “She was fearless, dedicated and faced many challenges with her trademark enthusiasm and exuberance,” he said. 

“There is no doubt that she has made an indelible mark on the social fabric of the Cayman Islands and many of our lives. She will be missed and we wish her all the very best,” he added.

During her career with the department Look Loy has faced some unique challenges. Soon after taking up the director’s post in 1994 she had to deal with the 1,200 Cuban refugees housed at “Tent City” in the Fairbanks area. Her knowledge of the Spanish language and culture served her well during that national crisis. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan Look Loy was awarded the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour in 2005 for her work in the community and civil service.

Government officials said that throughout her 17 years with the department she spearheaded the development and implementation of several initiatives including the 1996 Study of the Family in the Caymanian Society.

Data gathered during that study went on to inform the development of various programmes including the establishment of Community Development Services, the National Parenting Programme and a probation and aftercare programme for adult offenders.

She also worked on the implementation of procedures for the management of child abuse referrals and investigations, the Children’s Law and Regulations, the Adoption Law and the Youth Justice Law.  Look Loy also established the Community Development Unit and oversaw research aimed at identifying the needs of older persons within the Cayman Islands.

Having started her civil service career as a Spanish teacher at the Cayman Islands High School in 1975 after earning a degree in Spanish and history from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica she went on to pursue a diploma in education. 

She then worked at the Ministry of Education in Trinidad & Tobago before returning to Grand Cayman where she took the position as Spanish department head at the Cayman Islands Middle School which later became George Hicks.  By the late eighties she had been appointed as assistant secretary with the Ministry of Health, Education & Social Services, where she assisted with the implementation of Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams and served as the secretary for the Education Council before becoming the director at DCFS.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    To  16:02 Obviously you do not know the lady . Leave Mrs. Look Loy alone and allow her to retire in peace. She did a good job and should be congratulated for working in such a professional manner.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Initially Mrs. Lookloy did a fine job and then as many government Directors that have been in the system for too long they lose sight that with every business / dept. you need to welcome new ideas and changes. I'm sure many who worked under Mrs. lookloy's leadership respect and admire her however many have also stated they are welcoming a new change.

  3. Anonymous says:

    To 9:29: When are you going to realize that it is your own people who are the HATERS and not expats including me. I am one of you and I hardly like myself. Everyday I wake up to the same thing, the same haters and the same me. We are the haters and maybe if we stop breeding each other and allow other nationalties to breed us our hate will water down.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mrs. Look Loy! 60 may be the end of a government pay cheque, but it is not the end of the world. Hope your pension is greater than your CUC bill. Happy retirement! You deserve the very best. Continue to make our Islands proud.

     There is so much envy and hate in this little island one has to wonder what will happen when the population is increased in the future. We have opened our doors to so many ungrateful and greedy people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure how a note to Mrs LookLoy turned into a hateful jab at expatriates.  Let me just say that I have lived here a long time now and if you have a problem with ungrateful and greedy people, then you should leave Cayman.  Today, if at all possible.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. Look Loy you are an example to many Caymanians. Do not allow unfair comments to discourage you. You served your country well. Its a pity that when a Caymanian retires that they will be replaced by a foreigner because when Caymanians go for interviews they are either overqualified or not experienced. I hope this is not the case. All the best for the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't believe you have anything to worry about.  Expatriate workers in government are not having their contracts renewed and are being replaced by Caymanians.  What you see with Mrs LookLoy and other long-time civil servants is that they are being forced to retire and are being replaced with younger Caymanians.  In its own way, the UDP government is actively working to do two very important things:  create jobs for Caymanians and breathe some "fresh air" into what has been perceived as a stale and outdated civil service.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Why does she have to retire at 60?  Too many excellent civil servants have been made to retire at that age when they could have contributed far more if they had been allowed to continue in service!  Why let people gain valuable experience and then get rid of them?

    • The Prophet says:

      Oh dear me, what planet have you been living on.  I think this is a good thing, retire yes, the best thing that could have been done.  Now lets see what jen will do about the offshore list, and see that Caymanians who have built this country are assisted.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Once again, no succession planning! The Minister responsible, Mike Adams Should have known that one of his "directors of such a critical department"  was approaching retirement age so why wasn't someone designated as her successor well in advance and then the transistion could have taken place very smoothly. Once again another example of Government not planning for the future!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. Lookloy, please enjoy your retirement. It is well earned. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    How old is Bushy?

  10. Anonymous says:

    OMG!  I remember Mrs. LookLoy she used to be my "High School Teacher" and I can tell you all that she's a remarkable woman, she's very sweet, gentle and kind.  Cayman Islands High School has never ever had a better Teacher than her and Mrs. Christie, they were both wonderful Teachers.  In my book no one can ever fill their shoes…I just want to say thank you Mrs. LookLoy stay the way you are.  With that being said, It's sad to know that Government is getting rid of all the good civil servants, trust me they will NEVER EVER find a better civil servant like Mrs. LookLoy.  Where-ever your journey leads you Mrs. LookLoy may God bless and watch over you and may he keep you close to his heart.  Again thank you for all you have done for me as a student.  I really did appreciated you and you are a part of  what I have become.  You are appreciated!

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Why so many thumbs down? I have known this lady not because I went through a Cayman education but because I have known her through the great contribution she has made to our Rotary Club and the local community. This lady is a true leader and an outstanding member of our community. Knowing her as I do she will continue to do good works for the benefit of our island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mrs. Lookloy was not paid by Rotary, but with my money! She should have been replaced a long time ago. The unfortunate thing about this, she will probably be replaced by some one who will perform in the same manner. The more things change, the more they remain the same!

      • Anonymous says:

        Since you ask, you are not a civil servant or a welfare recipient, Mr Johnson. Rotary may be all well and good, but that is only a very small part of any picture. though Rotarians understandably find that difficult to digest.

  11. Len Layman says:

    Mrs. Look Loy as been a real positive contributor to our society.  We should all thank her for her contributions and wish her the best in her retirement, or what ever she chooses to pursue next.

    Thank you!.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you and enjoy your retirement.

    If you had given away all your possesions most recepients would still not be satisfied. That's the job and when politricks are involved, God help these Islands.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wish you the very best Ms. Lookloy.  You taught me in High School and we have interacted over the years through our jobs and I have nothing but good to say of you.  I wish you an enjoyable retirement and will miss you.  God bless.

    • snap shot says:

      Why look for a successor after she retires. Is there no succession planning in government so that someone could step into her shoes immediately.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes and no. The department likely has a succession plan butthe Public Service Management Law still requires every vacancy be advertised for a competitive open recruitment process. This rule has its advantages (keeps everything fair, you get the best person for the job) and disadvantages (increased cost and bureaucracy, sometimes it can end up with everyone just going through the motions). What surprises me is that she retired September 2nd and the process has not yet begun. Someone is likely "acting" in this position to gain the experience necessary to take it on officially in a few months.

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course there is succession planning. First you run for the UDX, then you loose, then they hand you a high paying job – what could be simpler.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Making space for a younger Caymanian to take the helm lead the way in 21st Century. Just time to roll.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Why didn't they bother looking for a successor prior to her retirement in order to make the transition smoother???  That would make too much sense… 

    • Swine says:

      i think you said it yourself…that would make perfect sense, thats why it wasnt done…thats government.

      • Anonymous says:

        you're right, i did say it myself – it was a rhetorical question.  government at its best 🙂

  16. Christopher Goddard says:

    Congratulations on a job well done Ms Look loy.

    Cayman can truly be proud of your dedication, commitment, hard work, countless accomplishments and selfless sacrifices.

    Your dignified success is a shining example for our country and the Caribbean region.

    Wishing you the very best in your retirement and future endevours.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why are they looking a replacement for her now?  That should have been in place a long time ago.  They knew that she was retiring so they should ahve been training someone to take her place.  This is why government will never be efficient.

  18. Anonymous says:

     OK, so they wait until after she reached the age of 60 before they figured out that retirement was upon her and that the recruitment process should begin? Never can figure this out; plenty of time to begin the process and allow for a smooth transition. It's called succession planning folks.

  19. Anonymous says:

    If they are not forced to retire how will anyone else be able to advance in the civil service?

    • Anonymous says:

      There are three Chief Officer positions being advertised at present. $120k+. A friend in the civil service says the only likely qualified (at least academically) applicants (who, remember, have to be Caymanian) are in their 30s. The same friend points out there are already senior former chief officers being paid full salary by government, namely Diane Montoya and Debbie Drummond (removed by the UDP) and Tim Hubbell (removed by the PPM).

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. Look Loy has been a dedicated, hard working civil servant and has made an outstanding contribution to the Cayman Islands.  I extend to her my heart felt wishes for happy retirement years.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Why are some Civil Servants forced to retire at the "compulsory retirement age" when others are not?  Does politics and the lust for personal gain play a role in this?