Children’s Authority says: Put Children First
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago urges parents, caregivers and guardians to make the safety of children their first priority during the Carnival season.
The Authority is aware that Carnival generates an increase in social activities, especially for adults. Therefore, when making plans to attend events, parents and guardians should also make arrangements to ensure their children are safe. The Authority adds that leaving younger children at home in the care of older children is not an option and every attempt should be made to leave children in the care of a trusting and responsible adult.
While many persons do not take part in Carnival events, they may decide to register children in a camp. The Authority advises parents and guardians to know the adults and camp supervisors who will be interacting with their child and request an itinerary of events.
The public is reminded that child abandonment and neglect are offences that are liable to fines and imprisonment. Therefore, parents and guardians are urged to put measures in place for the protection and care of their children.
Following are additional guidelines to ensure children’s safety:
- Children should not be left unsupervised in vehicles;
- When leaving children in the care of an adult, it should be a trusted person, however;
- Keep open communication with your children so they feel comfortable reporting inappropriate behaviour;
- Monitor your child’s interaction with adults who show abnormal affection towards the child;
- Set rules for teenagers. Know where they are at all times and let them check in often when away from home;
- Monitor children at all times when at the beach, by the river or a swimming pool. Never allow a child to go into the water alone;
- Develop a family plan so children do not get lost.
The Authority reminds the public that child protection is everyone's business and all incidents of child abuse, abandonment and neglect should be reported to the Police at 999 or to our 24-hour hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.
Children's Authority Receives Child into Care
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago thanks the public for their overwhelming response in highlighting the case of a young boy, who is in need of care and protection.
When the case was brought to our attention, the Authority’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) was dispatched to locate the child to determine the necessary intervention. At this time, the child is in the care of the Authority.
While the Authority welcomes the public’s efforts in highlighting cases of child abuse, the public is advised to refrain from sharing posts that reveal children’s faces and identity via the internet since this can cause further trauma to the child.
Children's Authority urges parents - Be Aware, Be Vigilant!
While the Christmas holidays are a time of merriment for many, it is important that parents and guardians do not let their guard down in keeping children safe from abuse.
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago continues to record a spike in reports of abuse following the closure of schools for holidays like Christmas, Easter and July-August.
While the Authority encourages parents and guardians to ensure their children are left in the care of a responsible and trusted adult, it is important to note that perpetrators of abuse are usually known to children.
Therefore, children should be encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings so that they feel comfortable disclosing any incidents of abuse or inappropriate situations.
With respect to teenagers, they should not be left to wander alone through Malls and shopping areas, as they can be easily targeted.
The Authority reminds parents and guardians to observe the following to ensure their children’s safety:
- Enforce reasonable curfew for teenagers to prevent night time danger
- Be aware of your child’s online activities
- Get to know the adults and other children with whom your child interacts and carefully observe these relationships
- Be wary of “one on one” time that children might be spending with any adult, including a family member
- Do not serve alcoholic beverages to children
- Be wary of physical changes in your children (e.g. marks or redness on body; discharges when bathing or changing young children, pain or discomfort in any body part especially genitals)
- Know some of the non-physical signs of child abuse - depression, fear or avoidance of a certain adult or place, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, bedwetting, nightmares, inappropriate sexual behaviour, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility
The public is reminded that child protection is everyone’s business, therefore, all suspicions or incidents of abuse should be reported to the Police at 999 or to the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014. Follow us on Facebook for more tips.
Children's rights must be celebrated
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago joins the world in celebrating Universal Children’s Day, as we seek to provide care and protection and advocate for the rights of the nation’s children. Celebrating Universal Children’s Day acknowledges the rights of our children, who, regardless of their religion, race or gender has the right to be protected, the right to education and full opportunity for play and recreation, the right to adequate nutrition and medical care, the right to special care if disabled and the right to express their views and be heard.
During the period November 6th to November 24th, the Authority expanded its public education campaign to primary and secondary schools throughout the nation in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day. The campaign, in collaboration with the Two Cents Movement, seeks to educate students on child abuse prevention, their rights and responsibilities as children and how they can lend peer support to their friends who may be experiencing abuse at home. Additionally, today the Authority launched its face book page to address the need for information on child abuse prevention as well as to highlight the issues affecting children.
The Authority notes that this country is a signatory to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). For that reason, as a society, we are reminded that we are judged by the way we treat our children, and should therefore take the necessary steps to make child protection everyone’s business.
As the Authority stands in solidarity with UN’s theme of “Stop the Violence against Children” for Universal Children’s Day, the increasing number of reports of child abuse coming to its attention continues to be a grave concern. Whilst the Authority applauds the efforts of citizens who utilise its hotlines to report child abuse, the number of reports and the categories of child abuse being reported speaks to the way society’s most vulnerable is being treated in this country.
The public is advised that all reports of abuse should be made to the Police at 999 and the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014. For more information, the public can visit the Authority’s website at www.ttchildren.org or visit the Authority’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/childrensauthoritytt/
Children's Authority appeals to parents to seek support
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is deeply saddened that twin babies were found dead yesterday in a landfill.
The Authority, which is responsible for the care and protection of children, believes that every child should be given the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.
Parents and guardians are entrusted with the responsibility to provide a loving, nurturing and safe environment for their children. However, when expectant mothers and fathers are uncertain about their ability to care for their unborn child, they are invited to contact the Authority to explore their options, in a confidential and non-judgemental environment.
The Authority is appealing to other parents, who are concerned that their children are not receiving the best possible care, that they too can contact the organisation.
Alternative family options such as adoption and foster care can only be arranged by the Children’s Authority, so persons are asked to call the Authority at 996 or 800-2014.