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Two thumbs up for CCB

Leading child advocate Faith Marshall-Harris is giving the Child Care Board (CCB) the thumbs up for admitting that it failed to thoroughly investigate allegations that the late Coleridge and Parry Secondary School student Shemar Weekes was being abused by his mother Julieann Weekes.

On Monday, Sherry-Ann Blackman, the child care officer assigned to investigate the reports, and board director Joan Crawford confessed before the ongoing coroner’s inquest into the 12-year-old boy’s death last year, that the state-run child protection agency had not followed through with its initial probe and the case “fell through the cracks”.

Crawford also informed the inquest that corrective measures had been put in place to better respond to complaints of child abuse.

Today, Marshall-Harris told Barbados TODAY that what the CCB had done was “very encouraging” to other children in abusive situations. “Their actions might very well produce some help for them. I personally know of other children who are in problems,” said the former juvenile court magistrate and UNICEF child champion.

She congratulated presiding Coroner Manila Renee for “doing a very thorough job, and I am very pleased with that. She is following the best traditions  . . . [and] she is doing a very thorough investigation.”

Shemar Weekes was found hanging at his Fryers Well, Checker Hall, St Lucy home on May 14, 2015, two years after his great-aunt Clarista Daniel had made the first report to the Child Care Board that his mother was allegedly beating him. 

5 Responses to Two thumbs up for CCB

  1. Sue Donym July 21, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Wow! Thumbs up for admitting failure. Well, let’s not be stingy. Somebody must get a national award when we consider the death of a six year old and the 3 children who fled to the UK in other failures.

    I take it that this report doesn’t quite cover what the noted child advocate wanted to convey. Perhaps some reservations while the inquest is ongoing?

  2. Green Giant July 21, 2016 at 8:00 am

    We are in Barbados mate. Admitting to negligence or failure to act is acceptable even though the life of a young boy was lost.

    No politician is leading a march against the failures of the C C B, no women’s group is marching against the agency primarily run by females for the benefit of females.

    Now another notable female whom I respect highly is crediting the sorry bunch who failed our children for decades for their honesty in admitting failure that caused death. I guess it’s really okay if they say it is.

  3. Donna Harewood July 21, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I guess admitting mistakes is the first step in correcting them. Or I sure hope so!

  4. Faith Marshall-Harris July 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    What Faith Marshall -Harris really said to Barbados Today

    “I am heartened by all the relatives and neighbours of Shamar Weekes who have come to give the truth facts about his life and demise. Often persons are unwilling to report abuse. I was glad that persons in the community came forward and I also congratulated teachers and the Principal of his school.

    Finally, I congratulated the coroner on what is developing to be a thorough fact-finding investigation in the best tradition of coroners. Many children in this island are suffering abuse and this case as it develops can only encourage others to assist in rescuing them. Shamar would not have died in vain.

    I would however, prefer to comment when it is all finished.”

    Faith Marshall-Harris

  5. Tony Waterman July 21, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    This is quite Hilarious, the Child care advocate is giving the people who by all accounts has MISERABLY failed the now DEAD Child, the thumbs up, FOR WHAT, not doing their job???? Wow, this is progress.

    Should there not be some Heads Rolling,for this monumental screw up????

    They were told what was happening, and did Nothing, and now they are being praised for doing nothing, i am flabergasted.
    they are being congratulated for being TOTALLY wrong, and for intent and purposes, causing this youngster his life.

    Can someone/anyone rid us of these INCOMPETENT People.


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