Carers urged to report suspected child abuse cases
People who care for children were reminded of their duty to report abuse and neglect in light of a month dedicated to preventing child abuse.
The Department of Child and Family Services held a seminar for mandated reporters of child abuse on the roles of the department as well as the reporters’ obligations.
The conference was held in recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
A DCFS spokeswoman said that 302 reports of child abuse had been made since the start of the year and 918 reports were made last year.
Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said the reports were “extremely concerning” and encouraged the public to work together to prevent child abuse.
She added: “It has been a difficult time for many in Bermuda, and the Covid pandemic has put a strain on a number of families.
“We want to encourage those parents who are experiencing challenges in coping to reach out for support.”
The DCFS spokeswoman said that the department “provides child abuse investigations, interventions, and support for children and families in the community to ensure that no child suffers from maltreatment”.
She added: “The department also responds appropriately to reports of child abuse and neglect to ensure that children are safe and at the same time promotes the integrity of the family.”
Anyone with knowledge of abuse towards a child should contact the Department of Child and Family Services at 278-9111.