ministryofsocialservices

Friday, July 23, 2021

ministryofsocialservices

Campbell Says Ministry Tried to Help Homeless Mother. Here’s Why She Turned Down the Offer.

Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell said his office has reached out to the 30-year-old woman who was left homeless with her three children after eviction from her apartment, and she has since turned down an offer for temporary housing.

Why it matters

Member of Parliament for Englerston Glenys Hanna-Martin criticized the government for its handling of housing issues and rental assistance amidst the pandemic, highlighting the woman’s issue who was recently featured in national news report.

The big story

The mother of a newborn baby, Claudia Grant was featured on Our News on Tuesday night, telling her story of having to resort to sleeping in her car with her children.

Grant said she was left jobless since March at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was eventually left homeless recently after eviction.

Grant said she relies on the assisstance from the national task force and church charities to get by as the fathers of the children are not in their lives.

What Minister Frankie Campbell says

Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell responded to Gleny’s Hanna-Martin, clarifying his ministry’s response to the issue.

“We have found her. We’ve spoken to her and her response to our offer is that she is not interested in anything temporary. She is looking for a more permanent offer and she is awaiting an offer that was extended to her.

“And my office has indicated to her that if that doesn’t work out, we’re still here for [her].”

Children’s Home Under Scrutiny as Video Shows Alleged Abuse

A widely circulated video involving the physical abuse of children at a children’s home has prompted the response of Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell, assuring a full investigation into the matter.

The video is purported to be recorded at the Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel on McKinney Drive, off Carmichael Road.

What the video shows

  • The eight-minute-long video shows staff members administering punishment to children in a room where nearly 20 children are gathered.
  • A woman dressed in scrubs is the first to issue punishment with a long, flexible stick as children queue to receive punishment.
  • Five minutes and 30 seconds into the video, a flailing boy is held down and violently whipped atop a table, as he scrambles to be freed.
  • Then a second boy is held down on the floor by three adults, to be whipped.
  • Seven minutes into the video, a woman in a wheelchair rolls in, whipping a little boy with a stick as staff members laugh and cajole.

How Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell responds to the video

  • Frankie Campbell said the matter will be investigated. “I reassure the public that this matter will be properly investigated. It will be partially investigated.
  • “We will leave no stone unturned and we will let the chips fall where they may,” Campbell said.
  • “If someone is culpable the chips will fall where they may.”
  • “I’ve spoken to the chairman of the board at the Children’s Emergency Hostel (Arthur Peet) and we are on the same page.”
  • He added, “I want to thank all who have expressed genuine concern…”

What’s the public’s reaction

The video has sparked public outrage with many posters on social media, calling for the arrest of the individuals involved.

Jennell Hamilton said the woman seen beating the children should be placed before the courts, “This is so sad,” she says. “…She has no right to touch these kids.”

A poster identified as Myz Unbreakable says, “beating these kids like animals,” should not be tolerated. She decried the setting as “a puppet show,” highlighting the provocation of the adults as the children are beaten.

Ida Collie says the children are shown “no love” when they are taken and placed in homes such as these.

And Debbie Roldan calls for quick response by the authorities to address the matter. She says, “Put them in jail [be]cause they causing those children to build hate.”

The Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel is a nongovernmental organization. It is a short term child care facility that houses children between the ages of 12 months and 12 years.

In Pictures: Resolution for Women’s Rights Presented In Special Sitting of Parliament

In observance of the 58th Anniversary of the Enactment of the Right of Women to Vote, and the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action — the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development’s Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Zonta Clubs of The Bahamas, and Caribbean Women in Leadership, hosted a special sitting of the House of Assembly for Women in Parliament and presented a Resolution to the Speaker.

The theme of the Resolution, presented Friday, December 11, was “Accelerating the Empowerment and Advancement of Women in Parliamentary Representation, Economic Development and Protection Against Gender-Based Violence.”

Some of the speakers are pictured making presentations in the House of Assembly.

Mrs. Patricia Minnis, Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister, and wife of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Aneesah Abdullah, Sustainable Development Goals Unit, Office of the Prime Minister.
Ismella Davis-Delancy, Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Senator the Hon. Dr. Jasmin Turner-Dareus; and Robyn Lynes, attorney and former Senator, seated.
Allyson Maynard Gibson, former Attorney General and community rights activist.
Ann Marie Davis, wife of the Hon. Philip Davis, Leader of the Opposition.

What Happens Next to the Baby Boy Found Abandoned

The Department of Social Services is still trying to locate the mother of a baby boy found in an abandoned house at the back of the Church of the Nazarene on East Street.

What happened

  • Shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, a baby boy who appeared to be approximately four days old, was found wrapped in a blanket at the rear of the church.
  • Construction workers found the baby boy and an anonymous caller alerted police.

What neighbors say

67-year-old Edward Fox who lived in the neighbourhood for more than 40 years, told the Nassau Guardian, “Why she want a boyfriend if she can’t take care of children?

“That don’t make any sense. And you don’t know what that child could grow up to be.”

Fox said he has never seen something like this happened in the neighbourhood.

A 52-year-old Linda Darville said, “I don’t know who would do that. I ain’t see nobody. That’s the first time they have ever dropped a baby in the area. I’ve never seen that.”

And 53-year-old Leonard Neely said, “The mothers really need to take more responsibility for their kids. This is a nice, beautiful area, nice community we living through. We don’t have them things happen through here. So, it really shocked the whole community.”

What happens to the child now that he was found

  • The child becomes a ward of the state and is in the Children’s Ward at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
  • The Ministry of Social Services has the legal right to make decisions for the child.
  • The child can enter a children’s home at 6 weeks, where he will most likely end up.
  • Adoption will not occur until a relative of the child comes forward.

Social services and police are appealing to the mother to come forward so that she receives the requisite medical care.

Free assistance is given to pregnant women through the Department of Social Services Hotlines: 322-2763 or 422-2763.

Disabled Roadside Vendor Catches the Eye of Social Services Minister

A local entrepreneur diagnosed with cerebral palsy is pushing forward and maximizing his potential in the country’s newly established mask industry.

Forty-six-year-old Donald Martin, in a motorized scooter, sells masks to children and adults on Farrington Road, between Eden and Hibiscus Streets.

His roadside operation caught the attention of Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell, who while returning from a meeting, saw Martin and made a few purchases.

“Mr. Martin should serve as an inspiration for all persons because there he is with what some people may consider a legitimate excuse or reason – if he wanted it to be one – to not take advantage of this growing industry due to the fact that he is living with a disability,” Campbell said.

Mr. Martin said he is thankful for the opportunity for entrepreneurship and said his disability will not limit him.

“I thank God for life. You have some up days when business is booming and then you have some days when business is not as good as the others, but in all things, you give thanks to God.

“I have never given up on life because everybody has some challenges in life; you just have to be able to put them aside.

Moved by Martin’s entrepreneurial pursuit, Campbell said Martin serves as a motivation.

“He is out here assisting himself, taking full advantage of an opportunity for entrepreneurship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a government decision to place some restrictions on the importation of masks at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas, and instead offer those opportunities to Bahamian entrepreneurs.”

Martin also offers digital services. Campbell said his ministry will help to “empower him.”