– Childcare Agency responded to reports in December, repeatedly found house shut
A charge of murder is to be read today to Brenda Ferreira, the 27-year-old who allegedly killed her three-year-old son Ramdeo Mahadeo last Saturday.
Mahadeo is alleged to have stabbed the child, who was found in a bloodied state on a bed in the family’s wooden shack.
Reports in the Kaieteur News indicate that residents had witnessed previous acts of abuse meted out on the three-year-old and his elder brother.
One resident is said to have contacted the Childcare and Protection Agency (CCPA) but said no one was at home when staff went to investigate.
Yesterday, an official from the Childcare and Protection Agency (CCPA) based on records retrieved from their database, the CCPA had received a report last year that Ferreira was neglecting her children.
Kaieteur News was told that the first and only official report that reached the Agency was on December 18th 2017.
The Agency visited the home the following day, but found the house locked.
A follow up check was done last January, but again officers from CCPA were met with closed doors and an empty house. It was then that they were informed that Ferreira would wander with the children.
One final check was done on the May 2, 2018, but produced the same results.
Ferreira is said to be some six months pregnant, and concerns have been raised about how the child will be raised.
A senior Prison official told Kaieteur News that this is not a new situation for the prisons, in which incarcerated mothers gave birth.
The official explained that after being charged, Ferreira will be allowed to join and attend clinic at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
When she is due, she will deliver her child at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
If upon evaluation, she is deemed fit to care for the child, she will be allowed to keep the child for 12 months.
The child will be cared for by the state.
“There is a separate section of the New Amsterdam Prison where she will live with the baby (but) should she be deemed a threat to the child, the necessary intervention will be taken,” the official said.
Officials from the CCPA also indicated that should the father and family be deemed fit to care for the child, the child will most likely be handed over to them.
In a statement posted on their website in response to questions by the Kaieteur News, the CCPA appealed to families and communities to be more vigilant when they witness acts of violence against children.
“The death of the child is horrific and the East Coast Child Protection Team is reeling from the action.
“This is sad indeed and when a child dies in circumstances like these, all the work we have done comes to naught. Much work is being done at the community level across the Regions to build capacity of parents for the parenting role; for social network supports for at risk families and to organize and mobilize communities to take their share of the responsibility for keeping children safe, but it is clear that much more needs to be done.
“Child Protection is a collective responsibility; all must be involved – all systems must work – the family, the extended family, the community, the neighbourhood police and the other authorities – there can be no lapses.
“The CCPA has been asking persons to call in and report cases of suspected abuse and don’t stop calling until action is taken. Some persons are inquiring why they should call again after making the first call and we have explained with previous posts on the process, the responsibilities of the caller and the respondents and how it can help.
“The East Coast District Child Protection Officers have responded to over 110 suspected cases of abuse for the month of July 2018 and from indications, the figure will not decrease for the month of August.
“Child Protection Officers and members of the community are secondary victims when incidents like these occur. It is not easy to lose a child under the circumstances and it is hard bouncing back for many, but we have to keep working to ensure all children are safe and this can only come about with more involvement and support from communities and the public at large.”
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