Tobago home ordered shut, children kept at hospital

The children previously housed at the Family First Foundation Home at Calder Hall, are presently staying at the Scarborough General Hospital’s Paediatric ward.

On Monday, the Children’s Authority released a statement explaining that manager of the home Merl Hercules was unauthorized to continue her supervision of the children. Hercules was also notified that she is not authorised to receive any child into her care, at this time and failure to comply will lead to the initiation of legal proceedings.

The children were removed and are currently under the care of the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development. Secretary for the division Dr Agatha Carrington yesterday told Newsday that the Children’s Authority is responsible for matters with respect to the welfare of children and has the authority to legally license and monitor all children’s homes.

She added that she will not be getting involved or commenting on the situation between Hercules and the Children’s Authority, but will continue to collaborate with the Authority to provide what is required for the safety and comfort of the children. The division removed six children from Hercules’care on Saturday from a building they were staying at which is located adjacent to where the home which last Friday was destroyed by fire.

Agatha said professionals from the division were assigned to the children. “For the past few days the division has social workers who visited the children following the fire. In terms of care and protection of the children we provided social care by the social workers and medical care by the team at the hospital. They are still on the ward and are receiving care.”

The Children’s Authority stated that over the past few months, they have been monitoring operations of the home, as reports were received regarding the standards of care provided to the children. Hercules told Newsday that her home was not closed down and information the Children’s Authority is circulating is misleading. She said she expects to meet with officials from the Authority today. Cheryl Moses-Williams, the Authority’s Communication Manager refused to comment on the issue when contacted yesterday.


"Tobago home ordered shut, children kept at hospital"

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