– CCPA calls on mother to come forward
A medical examination conducted on the three-year-old who was rescued by officials of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA), has positively identified signs of severe neglect on the part of his guardian.
The child, identified only as ‘Leon’, was rescued on Tuesday evening after officials of the agency responded to a hotline report indicating that the young child was left alone in an untidy Charlotte Street residence, playing with a knife.
Yesterday, Head of the CCPA, Ann Greene, told Kaieteur News that the agency is currently working on providing adequate medical attention to the child and thereafter will work on finding a suitable home for him.
She said that an all-day examination conducted by doctors at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) found that the child was malnourished while his teeth, loaded with cavities, appeared to be causing him pain.
While care to the child would remain foremost on the agency’s list, Greene said that the agency is also working on locating his mother and is calling on her to come forward. She said that it is imperative that the agency locate the woman so as to obtain relevant background information. This, she said, would assist in ensuring the child’s safety.
Meanwhile, Richard Tailor, the 74-year-old grandfather and guardian of the child maintains that the child protection Agency has ‘no right’ to take his grandson from him.
During an interview with Kaieteur News yesterday, the man said that he had been taking care of the toddler for almost two years after his daughter left to dwell in the ‘interior’.
Going back to the evening of the rescue, Tailor said that while sitting on his verandah, four persons entered his premises and asked to see his grandchild.
“I told them I’m very sorry but you can’t see him because he is sleeping. If you come in the morning he will be available; but right now he is sleeping and I will not wake him.” He said that ‘the persons’ then left; only to return with a police who demanded that they gain entry into the home.
The man said that although he is poor, he takes care of the child ‘the best way’ he could. “I am not rich, I am a poor man, but I am trying. They (CCPA) never made any contributions to this child or this home.”
“I am a lion and I take care of my cubs. I can take care of my cubs the best way I can. Nobody can’t tell me how to take care of them,” he said.
When asked if claims of the child being left alone on a regular basis are true, Tailor acknowledged that he leaves the child alone on occasion, to run errands.
“I don’t be home all the time. I have to go out to the market, I got to cook, I got to eat. But the child is very sensible; he is not a stupid child.”
The man said that he would normally indicate to the child when he is leaving; and upon his return, the child would be fine.
“I will say I have to go to the market and I will give him a pound. I will say ‘go and lie down’ and he will tell me bye.”
Asked if he believes that the child is now in the right hands, the man said, “No human services can take care of my grandson better than I can. No person can adopt my grandson and treat him better than I could.”
NONE OF MY BUSINESS
A source close to the situation told this newspaper that he would regularly see the child and would often wonder why he appeared to be poorly supervised.
He further expressed concern that the child could not properly communicate, noting that his utterances are usually undecipherable. The man assumed that it was probably because the child had no one to “talk back to.”
While expressing relief and contentment that the child can now receive adequate care, the man admitted that he felt the situation was out of his hands and as such, made no move to assist in any way.
“I used to wonder why he is alone, but it was none of my business. I couldn’t help him. But I think it is a very good idea (that he was rescued).”
Social Worker, Pamela Heywood, on the night of the rescue had said that due to the ‘total squalor’ under which the child was forced to exist, the agency saw the need to rescue him immediately.
“When we got inside the house, the child was with a knife on the bed, he looked very hungry and he was crying. There were no lights; rats all over the place and dirty clothes all over,” the Social Worker had said.
Kaieteur News also observed that apart from a urine-soaked pampers, the child was naked.
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