Jul 12, 2016 News
“They never offered these children food but they showing up, thinking money sharing out” – says CCPA official
Days after two young brothers were burnt to death in a fire at the Children’s Drop-in-Centre on Hadfield Street, the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) is having a hard time trying to relocate the remaining siblings with their family members.
A source at the agency disclosed, yesterday, that after Antonio George, four, and his brother, Joshua George, six, died, there are people coming forward, claiming to be the children’s relatives.
However, the source said when the children were alive and needed the basic necessities, these “family members” were nowhere around to assist.
“Suddenly, all kind of families coming out of the woodwork; some of whom we have never seen before. When the officer asked one of them where these children were living, he didn’t know. But they feel money sharing so they coming,” the official opined.
She explained that they have been trying to place the three remaining siblings with family members but no one is willing to keep them.
“When we ask them to keep the children, one said they going UG and another one has to take care of a sick father. They didn’t even know how many children this woman has,” the official noted.
Kaieteur News understands that CCPA is willing to place the children in their foster care programme and give the money to whoever takes care of them but no family members have accepted the offer.
At present, the three siblings and 26 other children who were housed at the Drop-In-Centre have been relocated to the agency’s care centre in Sophia. There they are receiving help (counseling) from professionals at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Director of the CCPA, Ann Greene when contacted yesterday, said that the date for the funeral has not been determined as yet.
She explained that officials from CCPA and the Ministry of Social Protection are currently working with the family.
Meanwhile, Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle has confirmed that the fire which resulted in the death of two brothers was electrical in origin.
While the blaze started in the upper flat of the two-storey building, the Fire Chief could not pinpoint the exact point.
The remains of six-year-old Joshua George and Antonio George, four, were found among the debris shortly after fire fighters were called to extinguish a blaze around 12:05 hrs on Friday.
The Social Services Assistant, Sharon Jones, who was on duty that day said around 12:05 hrs on Friday, while sitting next to a door in the top flat of the property, she heard strange sounds coming from the wire on the wall.
”I look at the wire and saw blue flames coming out of the wire box and it running up the wall. I panicked and grabbed the girl who was next to me and called out for Hinds. The girls started to panic and scream and tug at me,” Jones revealed.
She added that she gave one of the girls the keys to open the door while she started to wake and to assist the other girls.
”There was a baby I had and I rest her down. Then I realized I didn’t pick up this baby so I run around the other side and I saw the little boy, Antonio, coming to me from the other end,” the house mother pointed out.
She said at that point, objects started to fall from the top so she had to duck under a bed and grab the baby with one arm then collect four-year-old Antonio with the other arm.
”Same time, Hinds (co-worker) and one of the boys come and started to work (extinguish the blaze).
By time I got to the door, I didn’t even realize the little boy (Antonio) wasn’t in my hands anymore. Sir (Hinds) tried his best (to save the little boy),” Jones recounted.
It is believed that four-year-old George loosed Jones’ hands and went back to look for his older brother.
Kaieteur News was told that the two brothers along with three other siblings were taken into the Drop-in Centre around 05:30 hrs last Wednesday after Social Workers responded to a call of neglect and maltreatment.
Medical examinations done at the Diamond Hospital confirmed that the five siblings were indeed victims of neglect and maltreatment. They were temporarily placed at the Home until further investigations could have been done.
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