Media Releases

Children’s Authority calls on parents and guardians to ensure safety of their children

 

Date: 2016-09-16
 
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago reminds the public that this country is operating under new and modern legislation aimed at protecting our children.
The Children Act 2012, creates a number of new offences targeted towards the prevention of sexual abuse of children. It defines a child to be a person under the age of 18 and there are severe penalties that have been established in relation to various offences which include sexual touching, sexual grooming and sexual penetration of a child.

The Authority is appealing to parents and guardians to maintain open communication with their children so that they feel comfortable reporting any incidents or concerns.

Parents and guardians are reminded that they have a responsibility to ensure their children’s safety, at all times.

If the alleged incident highlighted on social media is true, the Authority commends the mother for being proactive in protecting her child. However, the Authority is calling on the public to report incidents to the Police and not engage in vigilante justice as the Police is responsible for criminal investigations.

With respect to the role of the Authority, under the Children Act, 2012, the Authority is mandated to investigate all reports of abuse. Once a report of child abuse or mistreatment is brought to the Authority’s attention, the investigation process is initiated to substantiate or not substantiate the allegations with a view to determining whether the child is in need of care and protection and what interventions would be appropriate in the child’s best interest.

In order to substantiate a report, the Authority’s investigation officer usually conducts at least three main investigations which involve a home visit that includes interviews with the child’s parents and other relatives, a school visit and community enquiries.   In some cases, additional investigative work is done to ascertain the facts of the case, so that a fully informed recommendation can be made.