Children's Authority confirms boys absconded from its care
March 22, 2021: The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago confirms that five boys absconded from one of its Child Support Centres on Saturday 20th March, 2021. Currently, investigations are ongoing and the Authority is working closely with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to recover the boys.
The Centres, which are managed by the Authority, were established for children in immediate need of care and protection, who receive interventions and rehabilitative care, while suitable placement options are explored. However, more than 70% of the children at the Centres remain in the care of the Authority longer than the legislated period of 12 weeks. This occurs asfamilies and fit persons often find it difficult to treat or manage with the varying behaviours of the children, who may have experienced trauma prior to coming to the Centre.
The Authority advises all families and friends of the boys who absconded over the weekend, to call the Police at 999 or the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014, if they contact them or receive information about their location.
The Authority wishes to remind the public that it is illegal to conceal the whereabouts of a child who has absconded. According to Section 47 of the Children Act, 2012 “Where a person– (a) knowingly assists or induces, directly or indirectly, a child to escape from the person to whose care he is committed; or (b) knowingly harbours, conceals or prevents a child who has so escaped from returning to such person, or knowingly assists in so doing, is liable on summary conviction, to a fine of three thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months.
Since the incident, the Authority has taken the necessary corrective action to improve the security at the Centres.
The Authority will provide relevant information as it becomes available and remainssteadfast in its vision to defend and support child rights and make child protection everybody’s business.