Senator Mary Isaac is calling for the resignations of Human Services Minister Alvina Reynolds and Director Elizabeth Lewis following the death of a four-year-old boy whose mother claims Human Services failed to look into reports that he was being abused.
Isaac believes that the Human Services Department must be held partly responsible for Milan Ferdinand’s death, even though Lewis claims that the department only received one report of abuse for the child and upon examining him, the doctor said the case was not serious.
The United Workers Party (UWP) senator argued that the “lack of resources” is the main defense being discussed by the department, but said it is inexcusable.
The senator believes more competent people should be put in these key positions that would get the work done, emphasizing that Saint Lucia cannot afford another case like this to happen again.
Isaac said: “They sit, they get paid and they wait for things to happen on their own accord. This is not what they are put there to do. People who head departments and ministries have responsibilities for whatever is happening in those organizations. They have to ensure to make enough noise and develop proposals to get those resources.”
Isaac also cited cases where children died under the care of parents or caregivers which had been reported to either the Police Force or the Human Services Department, but nothing was done about it. She made reference to the case involving 12-year-old Verlinda Joseph, who was raped and murdered back in 2004.
“When people go and report things like that in Saint Lucia, it seems to fall on deaf ears, because there are so many of these cases being reported. Its only when something drastic like this happens that you find out that these cases were in the hands of the authorities and nothing was being done,” she stated.