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Jul 14, 2017

Foreign embassies assist with DHS cases

Leanne Arthurs

In a case where the victim is a foreigner living in Belize, the department must communicate with the respective embassy, informing them that the child, or children, is in the care of the Child Protection Services. Since Faye Lin’s sisters are the adopted children of an American couple, the United States Embassy is involved in the process. The Department of Human Services in the days ahead will have to determine a suitable placement for the children and it is expected that the U.S. government will assist in identifying and vetting another family member whom they can live with in the event of repatriation.

 

Isani Cayetano

“How does the department interface with any foreign embassies in a case where the children of the individuals are non-Belizeans, in this particular case?”

 

Leanne Arthurs, Director, Department of Human Services

“When we receive referrals of children who are immigrants in our country, what we would normally do is to flag the situation to the relevant agency informing them of the date that these children came into care.  We give them a brief overview of why they came into care and explain to them what will be the steps that will occur, because normally if the matter involves the police they will do their initial interviews with the children, prior to contact with the relevant agencies.  Thereafter, they would usually request a visit with their citizen and then we facilitate for them to have interaction with the children.  Thereafter we might request certain information depending on the case so that we can make certain decisions as part of our investigation.  We might ask what are the options in the country of origin, in terms of family who may be fit and suitable to assume care and for these children, should that need arise, we might ask for verification of nationality if we don’t have identifying documents for the children.  We might ask for child abuse or criminal records on any of the parents that are alleged to have harmed the children in Belize and then we work with the embassy from there in terms of keeping them updated, in term of the course of the investigation.  Following the investigation and intervention with the court in Belize, a plan is determined, called a permanency plan.  So if it is deemed that these children cannot return to their parents and it will be in their best interest to be placed with a family member or the next best in their country of origin, then we would write to that embassy asking to facilitate repatriate for that child to the country of origin.”

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1 Response for “Foreign embassies assist with DHS cases”

  1. Mercedes Zaldivar says:

    I read all about what happened and I cried and prayed for justice to be done on behalf of these children.I was born in Belize came from a family of 15 siblings same mom and dad.Growing up I always loved children and my dream was always to work with kids.i got married had 5 children of my own and worked as a school teacher for 7 years in Caye Caulker.We moved to the U S in Nov of 1996 and worked at preschools for 21 years and also have been babysitting the children that have been in my care that’s how much parents trust me with their kids.I have always wanted to foster or adopt children my 5 children are all grown and have kids of their own I retired two years ago to stay home to care for my youngest daughter’s baby.I would hope and pray I would be selected to care for these three children as my own it would be a blessing.

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