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.

Minister of Constituency Empowerment and Social Care, Steve Blackett at Friday's media briefing.
Minister of Constituency Empowerment and Social Care, Steve Blackett

“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.  

2 Responses to Help for Child Care Board

  1. Donna July 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

    If you can manage to access worthwhile assistance that can make a difference for our abused children then you at least would have earned your pay. I’ll be watching and praying for your success.

  2. Sue Donym July 14, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    While you are at it, you might want to examine your reporting and follow-up systems. The children who most need your care won’t survive (literally) on policies without action; which brings me to the point of questioning whether travelling and investigative allowances are used to assist the staff or are there mostly paper shufflers in the department.

    Are there paediatricians for example who know what to look for and are trained in child interactions in cases where the Board recommends a doctor visit? Are staff allowed to observe the information given to and recommended by the physicians or can a parent just pick a doctor and return with his/her own version of the outcome?


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