Media Releases

The Board of Management of the Children’s Authority thanks Sharifa Ali-Abdullah for her sterling tenure as Director

Date: 2016-07-12

Mrs. Sharifa Ali-Abdullah, Director of the Children's Authority, who took up the challenge to lead the pioneering team to get the Authority operational, has decided to move on now that the Authority is positioned as the hub in the child protection sector.

Mrs. Ali-Abdullah stated, "while the experience at the Authority has been exhilarating, I am looking forward to an equally exciting future which includes assisting my country to advance its economic development agenda."

Mrs. Stephanie Daly, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Authority, said "Mrs. Ali-Abdullah's sterling leadership and resilience were instrumental in her achieving the mammoth task of setting up the organisation." She noted that "the achievements to date would not have been possible, were it not for the extraordinary commitment and dedication of Mrs Ali-Abdullah. This has been her decision, which we have to respect, but I can say with total confidence that the Board would have been delighted to renew her contract."

Mrs. Daly said the Authority owes a great deal of thanks to Mrs. Ali-Abdullah as she steered a team of multi-disciplinary professionals who shared the vision that all children have a right to be nurtured and to enjoy their childhood. Mrs. Ali-Abdullah added that she will continue to champion the cause of the Authority.

The Chairman commented that "no-one is tipped to be the successor. The post has been publicly advertised since Friday, and our usual process of reviewing applications and conducting interviews and background checks in an impartial manner will be observed."

Yesterday, the Board of Management appointed Mrs. Bernice Rouse-Wharton to act as Director to begin the selection for a new Director. Mrs. Ali-Abdullah has agreed to assist the Authority during the transitionary phase.

Children’s Authority calls on parents and guardians to be supportive

Date: 2016-07-05

The Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago congratulates all children who received their Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) results today.

The Authority notes that many children and their parents/guardians are relieved with the release of the SEA results. However, there may be families that are not happy with the outcome. The Authority is reminding parents and guardians that they have a responsibility to be supportive of their children regardless of their performance.

Parents and guardians are asked to note the following:

  • Reassure children that whatever the results, you are proud of them and will always love them. Results matter to children, so it's important that they know that you are there for them unconditionally.
  • Encourage children to express their feelings and celebrate the effort that was made.
  • Reassure children that a result they did not wish for, doesn't make them a failure.
  • Keep calm. Regardless of your expectations, your role is to be supportive, sensible and reassuring.
  • Make sure your child understands that this examination result is not the "be all and end all", but is a stepping stone towards their future, and it is about what they do with this opportunity.
  • Parents should not compare their child with any other – no-one in the class, their friends, siblings etc; as every child is different and everyone has different strengths.

The public is warned that child pornography is an offence

Date: 2016-06-15

The Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is calling on parents and children to be careful about the images they post to social media.

This follows reports that child pornography is being shared and viewed locally via the internet and on social media.

The Authority is advising the public that it is an offence to obtain, publish, distribute or purchase child pornography.

According to the Children Act, 2012, "child pornography means a photograph, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not made by electronic, mechanical, artistic or other methods, that shows, for a sexual purpose –

  1. A child engaging in explicit sexual activity or conduct;
  2. A child in a sexually explicit pose;
  3. Parts of a child's body pasted to visual representations of parts of an adult's body or vice versa; or
  4. Parts of a child's body which have been rendered complete by computer generated images or by other methods of visual representation.

The Authority notes that the Police are investigating the matter and is urging the public to immediately report anyone who is found to be in possession of, or who distributes child pornography.

Children’s Authority takes steps to protect child following allegations of abuse

Date: 2016-06-04

The Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is currently engaged in investigating alleged reports of sexual abuse of a nine-year-old boy.

Following the report, the Authority took steps to ensure the safety of the child and the matter is being treated with the sensitivity and confidentiality which it requires.

Children’s Authority provides support to children found in imminent danger

Date: 2016-05-18

The Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is once again appealing to parents to be extremely vigilant in ensuring the safety of their children and to report all incidents or suspicions of child abuse.

The call comes in light of media reports of two children who were rescued yesterday.

The Authority's Emergency Response Team visited the family last evening and provided support to the children and their mother.

The Authority is continuing to provide the necessary counselling and other interventions, given the traumatic experience.

As the Authority marks its first Anniversary, Director, Sharifa Ali-Abdullah, says "as we commemorate our Anniversary today our hearts remain heavy and burdened with the number and horrific cases we deal with but this is really the best opportunity children have ever had in this country to be protected".

Recently, the Authority released its Sexual Abuse Report which indicated that 1 in 5 of all reports received by the Authority was categorised as sexual abuse.

The Authority reminds that child protection is everyone's business and reports of abuse should be made to 996 or 800-2014.