The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is pleading with people who may be struggling and unable to properly care for their children to reach out for help and support.
The authority issued a release yesterday in response to the discovery of a baby girl abandoned in bushes in Freeport on Thursday.
Despite many families facing challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the authority said child abandonment should never be an option, and it was saddened by the incident.
“This discovery is a stark reminder that many children are not receiving the best possible care and protection at home and, as such, require support,” the authority said.
“Parents are reminded that if they are having challenges with caring and protecting their children, they should reach out to trusted family members or friends,” it added.
Additionally, the authority advised parents to contact its hotline at 996, or engage the police or ChildLine of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, to discuss available options to best care for their children.
Options include adoption or foster care, it noted.
The authority cautioned that child abandonment is an offence.
Section 4 (1) (a) of The Children Act, 2012 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 called on the national community to play a part in defending and supporting child rights and child protection.
The baby girl, who appeared to be a few weeks old, is now being cared for in a safe place while the authority manages the case, it said.