Human Development Ministry Rallies Support for Abused Child

Human Development Ministry Rallies Support for Abused Child

The Police weren’t the only ones who acted swiftly to address the problem, the Ministry of Human Development and Families has been actively working to support and assist the young victim since Friday. Last week, a concerned citizen reported the incident to the Department of Human Services, and the matter was handed over to the police. The department, via the ministry, has since condemned the abuse, saying it is unacceptable in any form and goes against the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. This evening, Director of Human Services, Sean Vargas spoke on efforts being made to support and assist the minor, who may have suffered trauma from the abuse. 

Sean Vargas, Director of Human Services: “The society responded quite well and respectfully throughout this process. I can say that this came to us at the department on Friday and this was brought to our attention by a concerned citizen and we notified the police officers and it was the citizen support along with the police department, how the identification process took place. So the child has been in our care since Friday and then the child has been placed with a biological family. So definitely, I can also say that today the court granted us an interim care order to further the protection of the child. And so I can say to you now that the department is working closely with the family in trying to get the child the necessary support services that comes along with this referral of child abuse. We are working on a referral process for therapy because at the age of the child we have to take that into consideration and we do in country have a specialist to look at this area and so we’re going through that matching process now to see who is available for us. You know we don’t have a large amount of therapists a large number of therapists in country but the department holds a cadre of therapist on our referral lists that we will be best able to match the child with for support services. So that should be done within this week or early next week for the therapy process to start fully.”

Vargas noted that while the ministry has a reporting system in place at public facilities, the department encourages members of the public to educate themselves on the signs of child abuse, report incidents when witnessed, and contribute to the safety of their community.

Sean Vargas, Director of Human Services: “Belize is a very small community and we know each other. We know our neighbors, we know the members in our community and we have to do that. So we have to take responsibility. The law is actually clear for those in profession that they’re mandatory reporters. So doctors, nurses, teachers, clergy people are among the persons who are mandatory reporters. So you don’t have to know that abuse is taking place directly but if you suspect there are signs and behaviors that are associated with what you think is not normal towards a child, by all means make that referral to us. We are going to do it. As I mentioned before, the department has social workers who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are available to respond to cases of child abuse and other matters regarding violence against families.”

Incidentally, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Transport and the Department of Youth Services (DYS) recently concluded a community initiative to support and nurture primary school students ages 14 and younger who have suffered childhood trauma.  The initiative targeted to deliver therapeutic interventions to 75 children in standards 5 and 6, addressing the psychological, emotional, and behavioral impacts of trauma.

Related post

Caretaker Fatally Shoots Intruder in La Isla Bonita Home Invasion

Caretaker Fatally Shoots Intruder in La Isla Bonita Home…

Police on La Isla Bonita are investigating the fatal shooting of a man caught entering a house last night. According to…
Coastal Plain Highway Reopens for Light Traffic After Flooding

Coastal Plain Highway Reopens for Light Traffic After Flooding

After being impassable for most of today due to flood waters, the Ministry of Infrastructure Development has given the green light…
Meteorologists Warn of Potential Weekend Flooding in Northern Belize

Meteorologists Warn of Potential Weekend Flooding in Northern Belize

The Coastal Plains Highway is not the only area in Belize that will have cause for concern for flooding over the…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *