Tips on child protection during the July / August vacation
Protection from child abuse, maltreatment and neglect
- Get to know the adults and other children that your children interact with. Observe their relationships.
- Be wary of “one on one” time that children might be spending with adults.
- Don’t allow sleep-overs unless you know the family well and have visited the home on several occasions.
- Ensure your children are supervised at all times.
- Teach your children the correct names of their body parts so that they can express concerns and ask questions about them.
- Encourage your children to inform you or a trusted responsible adult if someone is touching them inappropriately.
- Talk to children about what is an ok touch, that is one that makes them feel happy and safe, a not ok touch, that is one that hurts or makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Inform children to never keep inappropriate touching a secret or any secrets in general.
- Ensure that your children know they can express themselves freely and say “no”, strongly and forcefully to adults if they feel uncomfortable in any situation. It is their right.
- Talk to children about “stranger danger”. Teach then to avoid having a conversation with an adult they do not know unless a trusted adult is present. Even the newspaper lady or the man in the shop is a stranger although the child might see them every day.
- Watch out for adults who spend a lot of time with children instead of adults, buy children expensive gifts for no apparent reason, refuse children privacy or invade their privacy, make children feel uneasy or scared, insist on physical affection even when the child looks uncomfortable.
- Teach your children what to do if a stranger approaches them and offers to take them somewhere or give them something to eat. They should scream loudly and run away toward a large crowd of people and tell someone (preferably someone in uniform like a police officer) Yell. Run. Tell.
- Have a safe word to use in the event that you cannot meet your child and you send a responsible adult who knows the safe word. Ensure that children understand that they should not go anywhere with any person they don’t know.
- 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 etc.).
- Know 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 are often signs to pay attention to.
Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development holds parenting workshops - 'Come Build Your Parenting Skills'
Children’s Authority urges parents and guardians to find alternative forms of discipline
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is horrified and strongly condemns the actions of the person responsible for humiliating the child, as revealed in a video clip, now in the public domain.
The Authority has been in contact with the Police to substantiate whether the video originates in Trinidad and Tobago. Up to the time of preparing this Release, neither the Child Protection Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service nor the Authority had received any report of the incident. Anyone with information on the child or the alleged abuser, should contact the Authority’s hotline at 996 or 800-2014.
Children’s Authority calls on parents to be vigilant during vacation, given high levels of child abuse
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is calling on parents and guardians, to make the school holiday period a safe one for their children.
The Authority notes that there is a higher incidence of abuse of children, particularly sexual abuse, during vacation periods, as children may be left unsupervised for longer periods of time, giving perpetrators more access and opportunity.
Research has shown that children whose parents talk to them about abuse are better equipped to protect themselves, since they can identify risky situations.
Children’s Authority holds adoption sensitisation session: families express hope
Persons wishing to adopt children in Trinidad and Tobago will find the process less complicated and time consuming. This was the assurance given to over 100 persons who attended a sensitisation session hosted by the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago on Friday 12th June, 2015 on the New Adoption Process.
Over three weeks ago three key pieces of legislation including the Adoption of Children Act, 2000 were proclaimed to allow the Authority to better respond to the needs of children. In the future one of the functions of the Children’s Authority will be the management of the Adoption process.
The session was designed for families who had already been pre-approved by the former Adoption Board. Stephanie Daly, S.C. Chairman of the Board of Management of the Authority said the new legislation stripped away the bureaucracy and restrictions which saw persons waiting years after approval, to extend their family.