The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will now begin the crucial task of assessing the household from which a toddler in a now-viral video was smoking and drinking an unknown substance believed to be alcohol. The video which has been making rounds on social media was flagged for child abuse. The mother of the child was arrested yesterday, September 24.
Child Advocate, Diahanne Gordon Harrison says a physical and mental assessment will be conducted of the household to determine whether the child’s safety is being threatened.
Gordon Harrison says the last resort is to break up the family unit which has three other children. However, the safety and security of the child will take precedence.
CVM LIVE understands that there was a birthday party being held for the child. In the 30 seconds video, the minor was seen smoking and drinking and was being cheered on by adults.
Child Advocate Gordon Harrison says she was disappointed in the adults who stood by and did nothing. However, she says it is not unusual. She alluded to a recent UNICEF CAPRI study that found child abuse as becoming more prevalent.
“What was portrayed is sadly a reality in some of our children’s lives. The recent survey conducted by UNICEF as well as our own apprehension entering this great period of uncertainty that the pandemic has unleashed is that children who are vulnerable will become even more vulnerable, and children who were not necessarily vulnerable at the outset may find themselves in situations that are not necessarily the best,” Gordon Harrison said.