The latest statistics from the Social Development Department suggests that the most common form of child abuse recorded in the BVI is neglect.
A total of 21 cases of neglect towards children were reported to the department in 2018.
Head of Family Children and Protective Services Laurel Freeman has described these statistics as concerning and has issued a warning that children, regardless of their age, should never be left alone.
“Children may appear to be more responsible but we want to avoid unforeseen events that can occur when children are alone,” Freeman said.
The child protective services boss alluded to what she said were regular incidences of unsupervised children in most communities. She said children are typically left alone because of the work demand or the type of employment their parents have.
The Ministry of Social Development has provided a number of tips for parents or guardians to consider when seeking family or professional childcare services. These include obtaining contact numbers for the child care provider, ensuring that the childcare provider has current contact numbers for parents, ensuring that the ratio of adults to children is appropriate, properly detailing dietary restrictions and ensuring that there is clean and adequate space that is appropriately designated for the number of children required for the services provided.
In a recent media release, the aforementioned department said: “Parents and guardians are advised not to leave children unattended during activities leading up to emancipation celebration festival”.
Parents are also encouraged to contact the department for information on seeking appropriate child care services.
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