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Former caretaker fears for safety of child


The social Welfare Department is being called upon to take a child who was allegedly sexually assaulted by an adult into foster care.

The call is being made by a woman who once took care of the child. The former caretaker fears that if the girl is allowed to remain with her mother, she would be placed at risk of being sexually assaulted.{{more}}

Visiting SEARCHLIGHT’S office on Monday this week, the caretaker said that after reading an article in last weekend’s edition, headlined “Elderly man was found not guilty of having sexual relations with 10-year-old girl,” she became dismayed.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the individual got away and I am concerned that the same thing will happen again.

“I think he got away because he is still going by the girl mother and she is collecting things from him. People are saying that he is with the girl mother.

“I went there one day to carry money for the child mother from my son, and I met him there handing a bag with things for her and money, and then the people who live up in the same area say he is always going there, carrying things for her,” the woman explained.

According to the concerned woman, the former accused was arrested, along with others, for having sexual intercourse with a minor two years ago.

The woman said that the child had lived with her on two previous occasions and on each occasion the child’s mother would come and take her away.

This time around, the woman said that the child left her home after she gave her “two lashes” for returning home late one evening.

The caretaker said that since the child had lived with her, she had made vast social and academic improvements, and fears that this progress would come to nought if she is not saved.

“When that child came to live with me, she never left my house unless I tell her to go by my mother, or go in the shop or somewhere.

“The child wanted protection, she wanted somebody to direct her and so on. She wasn’t studying her lesson and she is not a dull child. Teachers complained before that this child was not studying her lesson and all at once this child start to drop back.

“After that child came to live with me, every week she would do the learning page in SEARCHLIGHT; she passed the CPEA exam and is now a student of a secondary school….

“I go all out to get her to pass CPEA, go all out to get her in (secondary school); my son already sent her money for her transportation for the whole term… she received books from a scholarship that was transferred to her….

“Before that,… she has to wash and cook and her mother would leave her with the others and she was missing school.”

The former caretaker said that she has already approached persons at the Welfare Department of the Ministry of National Development and expressed her concerns, but is yet to hear from them regarding the matter.

She said that although she would still support the child to the best of her ability, she does not intend to have the child return to her home, because she believes that at some point, her mother would take her away again.

“I want them to remove the child from there, because I believe the things that happen to her before is going to happen to her again, and now as I told you, she became a young lady on the 31 of July, so they need to move that child from there.

“I prefer they take her and carry her by somebody.”