Webster-Roy: 345 matters reported to Children’s Authority

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minisetr Ayanna Webster-Roy said her office is working to promote gender-based violence awareness. – FILE PHOTO/JEFF MAYERS

A total of 345 matters involving children’s homes were reported to the Children’s Authority between 2020 and May 1, this year. Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy made that disclosure in the House of Representatives on Monday.

The complaints relate to matters such as child abuse, threat of child abuse and children running away from children’s homes, residences or support centres.

Webster-Roy said the more serious matters are classified as critical incidents. The lesser matters are defined as complaints.

Of the 345 matters, there were 197 critical incidents and 69 complaints against children’s homes and residences.

Webster-Roy said, “By comparison, a total of 79 critical incidents emanated from child support centres.”

She added, “Of the 197 critical incidents from community residences, 34 were related to various types of child abuse.”

The Children’s Authority, Webster-Roy continued, reported that all complaints regarding children’s homes have been investigated and most of the reports were unsubstantiated.

“Where substantiated, the homes have generally instituted corrective measures.”

She said the authority collaborates with the police in these matters.

There are ongoing police investigations into 12 reports of abuse against residents at children’s homes and four reports against staff at children’s homes.

Webster-Roy also said investigations are ongoing into the cause of a fire at a child support centre in Tacarigua.

She said alternative accommodations have been found for the residents at that centre.