The Child Care Board (CCB) has defended its decision to refer a teenager to the Psychiatric Hospital after he expressed suicidal thoughts, saying the correct protocols were followed.
CCB Director Joan Crawford said the teen was sent to the Psychiatric Hospital for an assessment over the weekend after he indicated to case workers that he was contemplating taking his life.
“We have to act in the best interest of the child and these protocols have been developed to do just that and not harm or stigmatize,” Crawford said.
“While it is not the ideal environment for the teenager, we would not take the chance of him harming himself and the Psychiatric Hospital has the appropriate expertise for the necessary assessment.”
Crawford said she was also concerned that the teen’s personal problems had been highlighted in the public domain, and that this could do more harm than good.
Media reports on the weekend suggested that the boy was suffering from abuse at home.
One report indicated that a Seventh Day Adventist church group had started taking care of the boy and its members were shocked at his referral.
However Crawford noted that the teen has been released from the hospital and all parties had agreed alternate living arrangements for him.
The Board will continue its investigations into allegations of child abuse and will provide counselling to both the child and his parent, it said in a release.