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HUMAN SERVICES REVIEWING CHILD ABUSE RESPONSE

Dec. 28, 2001 – The death on St. Thomas of 2½-year-old Rasheem Todman last week has spurred the Human Services Department to look at the way it deals with families where abuse occurs, Human Services Commissioner Sedonie Halbert said Friday.
Neither she nor Deputy Police Chief Angelo Hill, the top St. John-based police official who is filling in for a vacationing Deputy Chief Theodore Carty on St. Thomas, would release any facts about the case, citing as reason that an investigation is ongoing.
Rasheem died on Dec. 19, the same day he was admitted to Roy L. Schneider Hospital suffering from extensive internal injuries that authorities say stemmed from abuse.
His 24-year-old mother has five other children, a source said.
Halbert said that Territorial Court, Human Services and families must work together to ensure that children are not abused. "If we don't break the cycle of abuse …" she said, breaking off the comment.
In many cases, people who abuse their children or others were themselves victims of abuse. Halbert said Rasheem's family is not the only one where the Human Services Department has found abuse. However, she said, in some cases it is better to work with the families rather than place the children in foster care. "Sometimes children suffer when they are removed from the home," she said.
Also, she said, there is a shortage of appropriate foster homes.
According to child-abuse specialist Dilsa Capdeville, founder/director of Kidscope Inc., at least 35 children in the territory have died from abuse or neglect since the late 1970s. Capdeville said she is planning an ecumenical memorial service for Rasheem and others who have died in violent ways that will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

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Dec. 28, 2001 - The death on St. Thomas of 2½-year-old Rasheem Todman last week has spurred the Human Services Department to look at the way it deals with families where abuse occurs, Human Services Commissioner Sedonie Halbert said Friday.
Neither she nor Deputy Police Chief Angelo Hill, the top St. John-based police official who is filling in for a vacationing Deputy Chief Theodore Carty on St. Thomas, would release any facts about the case, citing as reason that an investigation is ongoing.
Rasheem died on Dec. 19, the same day he was admitted to Roy L. Schneider Hospital suffering from extensive internal injuries that authorities say stemmed from abuse.
His 24-year-old mother has five other children, a source said.
Halbert said that Territorial Court, Human Services and families must work together to ensure that children are not abused. "If we don't break the cycle of abuse …" she said, breaking off the comment.
In many cases, people who abuse their children or others were themselves victims of abuse. Halbert said Rasheem's family is not the only one where the Human Services Department has found abuse. However, she said, in some cases it is better to work with the families rather than place the children in foster care. "Sometimes children suffer when they are removed from the home," she said.
Also, she said, there is a shortage of appropriate foster homes.
According to child-abuse specialist Dilsa Capdeville, founder/director of Kidscope Inc., at least 35 children in the territory have died from abuse or neglect since the late 1970s. Capdeville said she is planning an ecumenical memorial service for Rasheem and others who have died in violent ways that will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.