The new Cayman Islands Child Safeguarding Board, announced last week, is an effort by government and nongovernmental organizations to coordinate Cayman’s various agencies to protect children from abuse.

A press release from government states that the board was formally established on May 23 to coordinate policies and procedures for preventing all forms of child abuse, and making sure information is shared across agencies.

The announcement last week comes after a Grand Court judge took police to task for neglecting an investigation into the sexual assault of a young girl for 18 months, and another high-profile case involving a former political candidate who has been charged with gross indecency with an underage girl.

Governor Helen Kilpatrick said in the press release that the board “will provide an effective mechanism to coordinate child protection matters and safeguard the children of the Cayman Islands from all forms of abuse. The Board is based on a best practice model and I look forward to seeing it develop over the coming months.”

The board will report to the deputy governor and Cabinet.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said in the press release, “To have a Child Safeguarding Board in the Cayman Islands really shows that we are stepping up and enhancing our child protection structure, to protect our most vulnerable citizens. The Child Safeguarding Board will ensure that social workers, police and other professionals are communicating at the highest level to ensure that everything that can be done is being done to protect our children.”

Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden said, “Ensuring that our children are able to grow up safe and free from abuse must be our top priority and I am pleased to support the work of the Board as an essential body to help us achieve this.”

According to the press release, the board’s first objectives include strategic planning for services to keep children safe, coordinate those services, and “hold all partner agencies to account for their safeguarding practice.”


  1. New Board is being established,…Different faces, same speeches… and nothing is being done. Anyone feel responsible? Ashamed? Anyone will be held accountable? What is the ratio of the children in this country to the number of organizations (people) that are being paid to protect them?
    * Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Family Support Unit dealt with 167 cases of domestic violence , 62 of which had been referred to the Legal Department for prosecution.
    * 92 women and children used the emergency shelter of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, compared to 88 in 2008.
    * Minister of Gender Affairs Mike Adam had said: the numbers … “just the tip of the iceberg, as many victims of domestic violence remain silent and fearful of their situations”.

    * New law to protect victims of domestic violence prompted by the death of Estella Scott-Roberts in 2008 was supported by lawmakers.
    * Len Layman recommended that gender violence be examined by the Law Reform Commission.
    * The bill expands on who is offered protection a CHILD of that family.
    “… We are casting our net wide to ensure that some of the most vulnerable persons in our society, such as children…. are protected,” Mr. Adam said.
    * The bill also empowers the court to issue protection, occupation, tenancy and ancillary orders.
    * Anthony Eden, the former PPM minister of health and human services announced the establishment of the advisory body that set the groundwork for the new bill. “We must condemn this at the highest level. We must ensure that the enforcement takes place”
    * Co-hosted by the Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing, the Department of Counselling Service’s Family Resource Centre (FRC) and the Legal Department, the workshop took place to bring key personnel up to speed on the law’s applications and ramifications.
    * “By training those who work in the field… we are preparing them to be better advocates,” said the ministry’s Senior Policy Advisor on Gender Affairs, Tammy Ebanks.
    * Miriam Foster further cited the need for all agencies working with victims and potential victims of domestic violence to be on the same page where the legislation is concerned.
    * Melissa Rivas said the number of new orders provided under the law should better protect victims.
    * Workshop participants were drawn from the Department of Children and Family Services; the Department of Counselling Services; the Family Resource Centre; the RCIPS; the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, the Department of Community Rehabilitation, CAYS Foundation, and the Legal Befrienders.

    * Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas body was found in a Bodden Town house with multiple chop wounds. She had suffered mental and physical abuse at the hands of her partner and police had been called to the couple’s own home on at least three occasions. Investigating officer Dennis Walkington testified that police had received FIVE reports of incidents involving the couple prior to the murder. Police officers attended their home on THREE separate occasions, although Mr. Walkington said NO reports of domestic violence WERE EVER FILED with the Central Referral Unit. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service declined to comment on the case.
    *….police neglected an investigation into the sexual assault of a young girl for 18 months.

    Who is responsible for the death of Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas and the child suffering?

  2. Yes, Bell, I agree that child and spousal abuse is out of control and those responsible for enforcement should be ashamed of themselves, and should be replaced by people with humanity.
    I think that we need people who have humanity in them to enforce child and spousal abuse, or it will continue.

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