…Welfare Dept says nothing wrong
Responding to reports that a handicapped child no older than eight was being neglected, a Human Services Welfare Officer yesterday descended on the 199 South Sophia home of Sharon James.
According to reports from neighbours, James, the mother of the child, would usually leave the disabled child home alone for hours.
They said that the woman would normally secure the front entrance of the house with a padlock, adding that many times they become aware of the child’s plight when he engages in frantic screaming spells.
Up to yesterday morning the residents claimed that the child was alone. This newspaper visited the house yesterday and observed the padlocked door but was unable to determine if the child was indeed locked in.
Reports are that several residents have chided the woman for neglecting the child but they were promptly warned to “mind their own business.”
As a result, one resident related that most residents prefer to ignore the situation to avoid the wrath of the woman. However, the resident noted that she, along with several others, is very concerned for the wellbeing of the child.
“What I does think about is if it got a fire and that child in that house alone…Then is another story you looking at…” According to residents, they had such a scare some time ago when James had occupied another house in the area.
They claimed that the house next door to James’s caught afire and there were concerns for the child. The child was, however, removed safely.
One resident commented that she had expected that James would have changed her ways when she took up residence at her current home but disclosed that James has adopted a trend to venture out to various late night shows and not return sometimes until morning, still leaving the child alone.
This newspaper understands that the woman also has a two-year-old child whose father lives in the home.
Based on the report of the Welfare Officer, who for the first time visited James’s home yesterday, all appears to be well.
The officer explained that based on the information received from James, the handicapped child is never left alone since she (James) and her child father would take turns caring for him.
Appearing to be quite satisfied with the information received, the officer left after taking a few photographs of the child.
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, James expressed surprise at the neglect reports emanating from the community, claiming that they are all lies and intended to ruin her reputation.
The woman explained that the child, eight-year-old Orville Junior Smith, was born with a deformity and has not been able to walk and can barely talk, thus she has to do everything for him all the time.
She disclosed that it has been a major challenge for her to support the child, adding that she does not get any assistance from Orville’s biological father.
“It hard for me to care for him…but I does try. You know what it is like to mine a child on yuh own… This boy is me only son and I would never neglect he. That is why I have to go out and get money fuh mine he,” the woman related.
She related that although there were instances when the child was left alone, that practice has desisted since she became involved with her youngest child’s father.
“We got a little business and we does try to tek turn to stay home and care for he.”
However, there was no forthcoming comment from James when questioned about the whereabouts of the child when the door was seen padlocked earlier.
Sep 22, 2019In overcast conditions at the Everest located a ‘stone’s throw’ from mighty Atlantic Ocean, day two activities in three-day Indigenous Heritage Games continued yesterday and climaxed late into...
By Sir Ronald Sanders “Hurricane Hell” and “The Bahamas is at war being attacked by Hurricane Dorian. And yet The... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]