The Ministry of Children is concerned over the escalating number of child welfare cases, totaling over 5,000 in the past three years.
In 2021, there were 1,518 recorded cases, a number that rose to 1,986 in 2022, encompassing instances of both child abuse and neglect.
The Ministry is emphasizing prioritizing children’s safety and well-being through collaborative efforts to address these challenges.
Minister Lynda Tabuya urges families to take responsibility for children’s well-being amid ongoing court cases involving child welfare.
“We have our children at risk that we continue to look after because the case is in court now. We continue to appeal to family members and guardians who can come forward to take these children, because these children ideally should be in a home rather than in a state home.”
Tabuya reveals that the ministry is set to appoint the director of the new children’s department by the end of this month.
“Under him or her will be our principal officers as well as our child welfare officers. So in improving our service delivery, we are now demarcating the roles of our welfare officers.”
The government has allocated $100,000 to establish the first-ever Department of Children, which will specifically focus on children-related matters.