Police officers are still trying to locate the parents and family members of the baby girl who was abandoned in some bushes in Freeport on Thursday.
However, with numerous concerns flooding in about the baby’s welfare, the Children’s Authority of T&T has given the assurance she is in a safe place and getting the required medical attention.
In a release yesterday, the authority said it is managing the case and will provide the necessary interventions in the best interest of the child. The authority said the incident is a stark reminder that many children are not receiving the best possible care and protection at home and as such require support.
It reminded parents that if they are having challenges with caring and protecting their children, “they should reach out to trusted family members or friends.”
“Parents are also reminded that they can contact the authority, the police, ChildLine or the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services,” the release said.
The authority is appealing to persons who may be experiencing social challenges to contact its hotline at 996 to discuss the available options to best care for their children.
“This may include either foster care or adoption, which are services managed by the authority,” it said.
The authority also made it clear that abandoning a child is an offence under Section 4 (1) (a) of The Children Act, 2012, which states, “Where a person has responsibility for a child and wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes the child or causes or procures the child to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned, or exposed in a manner likely to cause that child suffering or injury to his physical, mental or emotional health, commits an offence of cruelty.”
The authority said that while it is aware many families may be struggling as a result of economic or emotional challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, child abandonment should never be an option.
With World Children’s Day being celebrated yesterday, the authority called on the national community to consider how everyone can do their part “to reimagine a better future for every child” and to join the authority “to defend and support child rights and make child protection everybody’s business.”
Investigators are again pleading with members of the public who may have information on the parents of the child to call them at 555, 999, 800 TIPS or 482 GARY.