Conflict in Child Protection Agency May Have Resulted in 16 Year Old Nessa Gopaul Not Receiving Best Attention
Bickering at the very top of the Child Care and Protection Agency between senior officials, may have been responsible for the many problems and errors that led to the case of 16 year old Neesa Gopaul not receiving the best attention. The lifeless and brutalized body of the young school girl was found stuffed in a suitcase in a creek at an old resort in the bushes behind the Linden Soesdyke Highway.
Capitol News understands that the unit was in receipt of 3 reports about the young woman and the abusive situation she found herself in at her home. The reports were taken by 3 different officers and initially a recommendation was made by one senior official to have the child removed from the abusive home and placed in the care of her grandfather. That was done.
But it didn’t take long for that move to be shot down as another senior official of the same agency ordered that the child be returned to her mother’s home. A source at the Human Services Ministry said there was not even consideration of the previous recommendation before the child was returned to her mother’s home.
That was just over two months ago and it is believed that the abuse became worse when the child moved back home with her mother. With a probe now launched to look into how Child Protection Services handled the case, some at the same agency are worried that a junior officer will be forced to face the fire while those at the top who allowed their personality issues to cloud their judgment will move on. “It was as if one senior official just didn’t want to take the advice of another senior official” our source said.
At present the Child Care and Protection Agency has just 6 social workers who are involved in field work. Those 6 social workers find themselves burdened with well over 3000 cases making it impossible for them to do follow up on many of those cases. The resources are just not there our source said and though there are other social workers in the agency’s employ, they are not involved in the same type of job.
The case of young Neesa Gopaul who reached out to the agency for help is one that involved a number of senior officials of the agency and one that has triggered national rage.
It has served as a wake-up call to not just the agency but to the Human Services Ministry and its minister Priya Manickchand who rushed to defend the agency in the past when questions were raised about its tardy work on other cases.
Now the same Minister has found herself boxed in and forced to call for a probe of the entire agency after the child’s death in the same home that she was removed from and returned to.