Press Release

Social Development
Social Welfare
Release Date:
Friday, 14 June 2019 - 4:11pm

Parents and guardians are advised not to leave children unattended during activities leading up to Emancipation Celebration Festival.

Head of Family Children and Protective Services Ms. Laurel Freeman said that cases of child abuse or endangerment are always a concern and children should never be left alone at any age.

Neglect remains the most prevalent form of abuse against children in the Virgin Islands with 21 cases being reported to the Department in 2018.

She continued that latchkey children are common in our communities because of the demand or type of employment of parents.

“Children may appear to be more responsible but we want to avoid unforeseen events that can occur when children are alone,” Ms. Freeman stated.

The following are tips that parents should consider when seeking child care services whether from family or professional services:

  • Ensure that the ratio of adults to children is appropriate
  • Ensure that there is adequate space which is clean and appropriately designated for the number of children that require services
  • Obtain contact number(s) for the child care provider
  • Ensure that the childcare provider has current contact numbers for parents
  • Dietary restrictions should be properly detailed

Ms. Freeman also advised that parents shouldn’t hesitate to call the Social Development Department for more information in seeking appropriate child care services. 

Parents are also reminded that in case of an emergency or to report a suspected case of child abuse to call 911, 311 or the 24-hour telephone hotline of 468-9371.

The Social Development Department remains committed to the safety and well-being of children and healthy families and this is aligned with their campaign ‘Every Child Matters’.


Adrianna J. Soverall

Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174