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Sep 27, 2016

C.E.O. Judith Alpuche on Runaway Children from Dorothy Menzies

Recently four young residents of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center on Saint Thomas Street, Belize City, disappeared after attending the Buttonwood Bay Primary School.  The centre’s driver dropped them of at school but when he went to pick them up, they were missing. The children ranged in age from six to fourteen years.  They were later found and returned safe and sound and returned to the institution. But, the incident highlights concerns for this special group of children. C.E.O. of the Ministry of Human Development Judith Alpuche explains.


Judith Alpuche

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“We work with children, we work through their issues; we ensure that we have the programming there, but there are some children who don’t want to be there. It stands to reason, who wants to be at a children’s home. And so they runaway, a lot of times to parents, to family etc.  And unfortunately those places are not safe for them to stay. That’s why we have them where they are.”


The Ministry allows limited, supervised visitation in some circumstances but there is an understanding that families, where possible, should not be broken up except in cases of criminal sexual abuse or violence.

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