Everything the ZOE Child Rescue team does, is done in the best interest and safety of each child.
We all rejoice when a child is rescued but one of the hardest, yet most important, tasks for the ZOE Child Rescue team comes when they begin preparing a child for being a witness in court -and making sure that they can keep the child safe.
For the team at ZOE, stopping perpetrators from hurting more children is a necessary step in fighting child-trafficking.
The team needs to help prepare the child both mentally and physically. The important issues of each case are thoroughly reviewed and in doing so, it helps to reduce a child’s anxiety and apprehension. The team also meets to ensure that the child’s physical security needs are met by analysing the risk and severity of the case. The team then discuss known details about the suspect and their last known whereabouts.
Toward the end of 2016, taking children to court became very challenging for the social work team. So much so that the team were required to formulate a new security plan, by setting up a protective guard program, while traveling to court.
The team took children to court for ten cases. Some of these children were living at a government shelter whilst others came to the ZOE Children’s Homes.
All case management is done in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team.
For some of the protected children in these cases, their court trial is not yet finished.