An upset St Michael father is vowing to fight tooth and nail after the Child Care Board (CCB) recently made three of his nine children wards of the state.
Anthony Selman, 50, of Smith Road, My Lord’s Hill, said after not giving him an explanation for taking away his children, the CCB subsequently contacted and asked him to sign documents granting permission to keep the children.
“I ain’t signing nothing,” Selman told Barbados TODAY. “I would rather that my children know that I lose them fighting to keep them than to just hand them over to somebody. I gine fight tooth and nail to get my children.”
Selman questioned why police had not arrested a man who, he alleged, sexually assaulted his daughter, who is among the three children now in the care of the CCB.
Selman said the alleged perpetrator, who is known to the family and was identified by his daughter, was still on the streets.
The father explained that the matter was reported to police who took the child from the hospital where she received treatment and handed her over to CCB officials.
“My daughter told the police who did it,” said the outraged father as he related his family’s ordeal at his St Michael home. “My daughter is not a fool,” he insisted
However, Selman said he was made to understand that the man had abused the girl after promising to give her goodies, including a snack box.
“Them [police] ain’t come and tell we nothing. We don’t know if them still investigating it or what. They take she up from the hospital and my daughter was there screaming to come to me. I have not seen my daughter since. They did that in front the nurses and families in the hospital,” he said.
“My daughter get rape physically by the person that attack she, and them [the authorities] rape she mentally by taking she away from she family and she friends that love she and carry she to strangers,” Selman added.
The outraged father said what saddened him even more was that the CCB also took his nine and six year-olds into the state’s care without giving him, or his partner Harriett Hackett, an explanation or showing them the relevant documentation.
He revealed that the CCB came into his family’s life about three years ago when an investigation was launched into why two of his older children were found wandering. Selman said since then, an officer from the board had been trying to “take my children away from me”.
He accused the case worker of going to the school on numerous occasions and trying to coerce the children into going to live at a children’s home.
Last week, Selman said he was eventually informed by two officers that the two children had been taken into the state’s care.
“Them went and pick up them children at school. They tell we if we come out by the school that them will get we arrested and asking me if I feel hurt. And then when them had a meeting at Child Care Board [Cheapside Office], them making sport saying that the children is wards of the state and we ain’t gine see them until them is 18. And them laughing at it,” he said.
Last year, on two occasions, Barbados TODAY highlighted Hackett’s plight as she appealed for assistance with repairing the home and feeding the children.
Today, Selman admitted that the house they lived in was not in the best condition. He noted that he had made efforts to bring it up to standard as was outlined by the same case worker after they went before a judge three years ago.
However, Selman said he believed the case worker had something against his family. He recalled that when the family went to court three years ago with the same case worker, the judge had ordered her not to split the family, but to get the necessary financing and housing assistance.
“The judge tell she, ‘I can’t understand why you pushing so hard to split up this family because from all accounts, this is a good family’. ‘Do not spilt up this family’ is what the judge told her. The judge give her something to take to National Housing to transfer the family to a unit, repair the house and then let us come back,” he explained.
Efforts by Barbados TODAY to get a response from CCB authorities both by email and telephone calls today proved futile.