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.
Children's Authority commends mother of abused child for taking swift action
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago strongly condemns the brutal attack on a mother and her 12-year old child who was molested by an alleged relative.
The Authority’s investigation team visited the child and mother last night and they are currently in a critical but stable condition at a hospital. The Authority has also ensured the safety of the other children in the family.
The necessary counselling and interventions will be provided to the family, given the traumatic experience.
The Authority also is in high praise of the child’s mother, who immediately took action and reported the abuse, once it was brought to her attention.
Parents and guardians are reminded that if children are actively engaged about their day and feel comfortable sharing their views, they are more likely to disclose any incidents or concerns they may have.
Close attention should also be paid to a child’s behaviour and attitude and if any sudden changes occur they should not be dismissed. Parents and guardians should seek clarity from the child, about the changes they have noticed.
All reports of abuse should be made to the Police at 999 and the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.
Children’s Authority reminds the public that child protection is everyone’s responsibility
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago assures the public that it is working with the Police in the conduct of the investigations into the brutal beating of a child. The matter was brought to the Authority’s attention when the child was admitted to Hospital.
The Authority is horrified and strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the brutal abuse of the child. The organisation is once again reminding the public that preventing child abuse is everyone’s responsibility. In fact, if you see, hear or are suspicious about the treatment of a child in your family or neighbourhood you should immediately make a report to the Police or the Children’s Authority.
The Authority is calling on anyone with information about this incident to make a report to the Police at 999 or to the Children’s Authority Hotline at 996 or 800-2014.