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Feb 9, 2024

Child State Care Costing Belizeans Annually

A 2022 Inter-American Development Bank study on children in the care of the state in Belize found that sufficient data on the total number of children under care or custody order does not exist. The study did, however, find that close to five hundred children were placed under the care of the state between 2019 and 2021. Approximately the same amount of children exited the care by that age. Interestingly, sixty-eight percent of the children who entered state care in that time period were between the age of fifteen and eighteen. Minister Dolores Balderamos-Garcia explained that while the state has an obligation to care for children in the absence of family members, or by a court order, it comes at a cost to tax payers.


Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“Children get into the hands of the state and becomes wards of the state, number one through a court order, but where a social worker will affirm that there is either abuse or neglect, right. Like for instance, the very sad occurrence in Willows Bank where the mother was murdered. The little child was in and of water and therefore had to be taken in by the state immediately. Those are the cases where Human Services and social workers step in.  Let me take this opportunity to commend all of them because we have many children in care, either in the care of government institutions, like the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center or in private facilities that are sanctioned by the state, for example LOL down in Toledo. They have children and then our inspector of social services institutions make sure they have proper amenities, makes sure the children won’t be abused when they go into care. There is a lot of oversight that we have to do.”


Paul Lopez

“And it costs the state a lot.”


Dolores Balderamos Garcia

“Absolutely it costs the government.”

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