Child Care Board Concerned About Increase In Neglect Cases

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Over the period January to December 2011, 1, 224 children were referred to the Child Care Board (CCB) as a result of allegations of child abuse and neglect. Of these, 792 were new referrals.

And, according to Director of the CCB, Joan Crawford, this continues to be a worry for her department and Government, and will be tackled through increased public education programmes and other interventions.??

Speaking during a press conference to launch Child Month on Wednesday at the Warrens Office Complex, she pointed out that statistics showed that neglect claims rose from 617 in 2009-2010, to 690 from 2010-2011, and was mainly caused by parents who left their children unsupervised.?? In addition, for the period January to December 2011, there were 433 reports of child abuse.??

"That represented a slight decline from previous years but one case of child abuse is too much.?? We need to ensure that parents and adults remember their role and responsibility as duty bearers to provide care and to protect their children.?? So, although there might have been a slight decline, the issue must still be on the front burner," Ms. Crawford declared.??

The Board received 1, 830 referrals and interfaced with a significant number of children, parents and guardians during the period under review. These referrals affected 1, 866 children and were in relation to the abuse and neglect of children, children presenting behavioural challenges, custody, access and other miscellaneous matters. ?????????????? Last year, 1, 238 children were referred to the Board for the first time during the period January to December 2011.?? Also during that period, 519 children from eight primary schools participated in the CCB’s Safe Touch and Prevention Programme, a preventative syllabus designed to ensure that children were aware of inappropriate touches and were able to respond should this occur.?? It has covered three schools per term and has educated in excess of 5, 000 children to date.

The purpose of Child Month, being celebrated in May, is to focus national attention on children and issues that impact their development.?? It is also used to remind the nation of its responsibility to ensure that each child is afforded the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

lisa.bayley@barbados.gov.bb

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