A Cabinet appointed Committee has found that the Children’s Authority is failing to protect children

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A Cabinet appointed Committee has found that the Children’s Authority is failing to protect children

A report on abuse at children homes tell of horrific suffering of young ones at the hands of those tasked with the responsibility to protect them.

The Judith Jones Task Force uncovered horrific tales of physical abuse at children’s homes around the country – some of which were described as non-accidental incidents which actually led to death in some situations.

In the area of physical abuse, the committee reported: “Physical abuse includes the punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other objects), burning, or other forms of harm to a child; that is inflicted by a person, whether an adult or older child, causing non-accidental physical injury ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death.”

At St Jude’s, it was found that staff promote a culture that encouraged abuse among residents.

The committee said management was aware of these beatings and that the staff were the instigators. While the task force acknowledged that children’s homes/residential centres should provide children with an out-of-familial-home setting; a secure and safe environment; therapeutic services, and a rehabilitative experience – they accepted there may be inherent limitations to public care for children in general.

In the report titled Safeguarding Children in Community Residences and Child Support Centres in Trinidad and Tobago, the independent investigation team appointed by the Cabinet in mid 2021 to investigate reports of child abuse at children’s homes found the Children’s Authority of T&T (CATT) received a number of complaints from residents over the last three years.

The team said, “The investigation found several instances of physical abuse in the various Community Residences and Child Support Centres.”

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