Help for Child Care Board
Help might soon be on its way for the short-staffed and financially strapped Child Care Board (CCB).
Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett told Barbados TODAY this morning, he would soon meet with the local representatives of the United Nations child’s rights agency, UNICEF, to examine the details of technical and other assistance, that it has offered to the board.
“They have offered assistance, [but] what the assistance is at this stage, I am not absolutely sure.
“But once we have met with them, I will be able to spell it out in detail. But we have had help offered to us by UNICEF,” Blackett said.
The Minister said the Government would welcome the much-needed help.
“We are working with limited resources and within financial constraints. The 600 cases that we are dealing with today are 600 new cases. This has nothing to do with the old cases that we are still pursuing,” he explained.
In recent weeks, the CCB has been the subject of much criticism and public ridicule following the deaths of Shemar Weekes, 12, of Fryers Well, Checker Hall, St Lucy and six-year-old Jahan King, who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on June 28, after being rushed there by his mother, Lasonta Gill.
Jahan’s maternal grandmother, Margaret Gill, has blamed the CCB for his death, saying the board failed to act despite receiving information that the child was being abused, a charge the CCB has denied. Chairman Kenneth Knight has also complained of a lack of adequate resources to cope with the up to 700 child abuse cases that go before the board annually.