The Children’s Authority of T&T says after nine months of operations it is managing some 4,158 cases of children in need of care and protection. This is the highest number of cases to be reported in the country’s history.
In a statement yesterday the authority noted that the figure was an indication of the public heeding the call to report child abuse which has led to children being brought to its attention.
It said the authority would release its nine-month statistical report later this week, which would provide details of the types of abuse reported as well as demographic information, which it expected would inform immediate policy interventions.
The report will reveal that the highest categories of child protection issues are sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse and children lacking care and guardianship.
The report will also show that in its first nine months of operations, the Authority’s Emergency Response Team rescued over 300 children, “a chilling reality of how poorly we are doing as a society to protect the most vulnerable.” The authority also lamented that placement for children remained a major challenge, particularly children with special needs.
The statement added: “The public is reminded that protecting children is everyone’s business. Therefore, the authority will soon be rolling out its National Protocol on Reporting and Investigating Child Abuse to assist the public in understanding the roles of the various agencies involved in the child protection sector.”
The authority said it continued to appeal to parents and guardians to be extremely vigilant in ensuring the safety of their children and to report all incidents or suspicions of child abuse to 996 or 800-2014.
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