Press Release

Social Development
Release Date:
Friday, 3 August 2018 - 5:08pm

Parents and guardians/caregivers are being asked to put the necessary precautions in place and safeguard children during the Emancipation/Festival Celebration activities.

Acting Head of Family Children and Protective Services Ms. Laurel Freeman said cases of child abuse or endangerment is a concern during festival time and parents must desist from leaving their children unattended at any age whether it is at home or in places like the village, Coney Island or other festival activities.

She said, “Children can get lost or separated from their parents very easily and for extended periods of time, even by accident. Therefore, parents are reminded to avoid these incidences as much as possible.”

Ms. Freeman said parents should heed the following tips during the festival activities:

  • Write your phone number on your child’s wrist and cover it with liquid band aid in case of separation. The liquid band aid will prevent the ink from rubbing off.
  • Take a photo of your child using your cellphone at the start of the event so you have their clothing, hairstyle and an up to date photo ready should you need it.
  • Teach your child to memorize your cell phone number.
  • Parents should identify the nearest police officer or security and ensure that the child is aware as well in case of separation.
  • Identify a landmark or meeting spot for parent and child that they should go to if they are separated.
  • Ensure that you teach them their first and last name as well as the parents’ first and last names and not nicknames in case the child has become separated from you.

She also explained these initiatives are all part of the department’s child abuse prevention campaign which has been extended throughout this year.

Parents are also reminded that in case of an emergency, call 911, 311 or 468-9371.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the Virgin Islands.

 Photograph attached: Acting Head of Family Children and Protective Services Ms. Laurel Freeman used in child safety messaging.


Adrianna J. Soverall

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