Child hospitalised from troubled care home

| 31/12/2019 | 11 Comments
Cayman News Service
Frances Bodden Children’s Home

(CNS): A teenage resident at the Frances Bodden Children’s Home was taken to hospital Christmas Eve following what is believed to be a suicide attempt. Officials from the Department of Children and Family Services have failed to respond to CNS enquiries about the incident but the RCIPS has confirmed that police and medics were called out to deal with a distressed teenager. The young person was found conscious and uninjured, an RCIPS spokesperson stated but offered no other details.

The gender of the teenager has not been confirmed, though CNS understands it is a girl. The incident comes in the wake of at least two teenage girls from the home having absconded over the holidays. But the alleged attempt by the young girl to take her own life also follows undisclosed allegations of sexual and other abuse taking place at the care home.

During the recent Finance Committee hearings in the Legislative Assembly, the chief officer in the premier’s community affairs ministry was asked by opposition legislators about ‘reports’ of some form of abuse. Although she confirmed that an investigation was underway, she gave no details of the allegations or what safeguarding measures are in place to deal with children in care at the home.

Frances Bodden is run by the CAYS Foundation but is also funded by government and falls under the premier’s ministry. The home provides places for children who are vulnerable and at risk and are often the subject of care orders imposed by the family or juvenile courts.

There are, however, concerns that the home is being poorly managed and that attempts are being made to cover up incidents of self-harm by the children as well as abuse. This is not new, as over the last few years there have been questions about the management of the home, which also appears to be struggling to deal with some of the serious mental health challenges faced by many of its residents.

Despite the serious allegations and growing public concern that there is something seriously amiss at the home, there has been no official comment from the government.

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Category: Health, Local News, Mental Health

Comments (11)

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  1. anonymous says:

    CNS, is there any way the public can help with these girls? Perhaps volunteer work? Take them out for a movie?? I am 19 year old Caymanian woman who wants to be there for these young girls.

    CNS: I would contact Big Brother Big Sister. I have no idea if they work with the children in the homes but I’d guess that they can answer your questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you really want to help, then gather your family and friends, form an independent advocacy group to give a voice to these young people, investigate every incident the children/young people tell you about, gather around you experts in trauma to help you understand the young peoples behaviour, and lobby MLA’s for a change. You will need to document accurately,organise yourselves, be consistent and persistent just then you may be able to help.

  2. Anonymous says:

    These homes must be run by professionals, which is obviously not what is happening.

  3. Right ya so says:

    Do you know how difficult it is to actually succeed at suicide?! Do you realise how this child must be in such total despair to attempt suicide?! It is a place of last resort. It’s time that the CIG puts a halt to whatever is going on in these homes – it’s not merely unhappy children, even with mental health issues, XXXX. My heart goes out to these children.

    • Anonymous says:

      5:32pm. Ask yourself the question? Why were they placed in the HOME?? Answer. They were a problem from the homes they were taken from, or their parents were part of the problem. Will their woes be easy to deal with?
      Parents who complain about their treatment, should first look in the mirror and ask, why are they in an home and not in my care ( parents care)?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup. It bothers me to the core that us decent people work so hard to provide for our children and invest in their future while sacrificing our own lives for them everyday just to see all these losers procreating.

        • Anonymous says:

          Christian are you?

        • Anonymous says:

          It should bother you more that Francis Bodden is failing these young people. It should bother you more that these losers as you call them have by and large been abused themselves and are the product of dysfunctional families themselves. It should bother you more that children are hurting and there is no one listening.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Its so sad. You can only imagine what some of the kids have been through at home. This is supposed to be a safe place for them but something has to be wrong that they keep running and now this. This matter needs to be investigated.

    • Anonymous says:

      The children are abused at home, they are put in Francis Bodden and abused again by other young people by a system that further marginalises them and fails to get them the help they need. Poorly trained staff, and a culture of cover up don’t help. These are children of a lesser God seems to be the attitude. Also the way the homes are run, which is punitive, is not conducive to the needs of the children in its care. So year on year you will get runaways, children abusing children, and systemic failure because many of the good Christians of Cayman turn a blind eye.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Every goverment department under this ministry has failed. And the disconcerned is scary. I mean they just dont care about these children at this home.

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