Family Services Ministry responds to abuse claims at Lady Hochoy home
The Social Development and Family Services Ministry said a recent site visit by staff attached to its NGO Unit revealed no operational issues at the Lady Hochoy Home in Cocorite.
The response follows an exposé by the Sunday Guardian last week on alleged child abuse at the home.
The article, based on the accounts of employees and former staff, detailed instances of physical abuse. In some incidents, children at the home were allegedly tied to burglarproofing for hours at a time.
The Ministry said it’s available to respond to any queries by the Police Service or the Children’s Authority on the matter.
It said, however, should general complaints such as those regarding child abuse be made against the home, the Ministry works in tandem with the protocol and policies of the Children’s Authority.
Further, the Ministry said it’s working alongside the Children’s Authority towards the best interests of the children at the Home.
It noted the transfer of a ward of the state to the St. Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital by Court Order in 2019 as one example. The transfer was as a result of the Lady Hochoy Home not being able to administer the professional medical services that were needed by the child.
The Ministry also continues to conduct various workshops for the managers and staff of the residence with the aim of improving their interactions and insight about children with disabilities.
It said it will continue to monitor the situation and commits to working closely with all stakeholders in support of accountability, transparency and an enhanced quality of life for all persons.