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Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) probes claim that child was hurt in crèche

The Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) said in a statement at the weekend that it is closely following up on the alleged case of a young child who, according to social media claims, sustained injuries in a local crèche.





UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

The Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) said in a statement at the weekend that it is closely following up on the alleged case of a young child who, according to social media claims, sustained injuries in a local crèche.

The bureau said in Saturday’s statement that it had taken immediate steps to put in place a raft of measures to follow-up on the alleged case.

According to the statement, the bureau immediately contacted the child’s parents and paid a visit to the crèche to confirm the cause and situation of the child’s injuries. The bureau said that its officials and representatives of the crèche are closely cooperating with the police in the investigation.

The statement pointed out that as the case is being investigated by the judicial authorities it wouldn’t be appropriate at this stage for the bureau to comment on the matter.

The statement did not reveal the name of the crèche, not did it say when it became aware of the alleged case.

However, the bureau underlined that it has been conducting irregular and unannounced inspections of the city’s crèches to ensure that they are run in compliance with the officially required standards. The bureau also said that it has set up a “rigorous” and “optimal” system of handling complaints about the facilities and services of the city’s crèches. If the complaints are confirmed, the bureau said it will impose the relevant penalties in line with the law.

The bureau also urged anyone who may have further information on this particular case to call 6686 1588 for possible follow-up action.

Several photos appearing to show the injured child have been circulating on the internet since Saturday. The Macau Post Daily cannot verify the authenticity of the photos.

Mother wants to ‘help innocent children’

A woman identified by social media as Katrina Yip, who says that she is the injured child’s mother, has posted her allegations on social media. Her claims were posted on the “goldenmacau” Facebook group on Saturday.

The first sentence of her post proclaims: “Help innocent children! Regarding my child who was injured in a crèche [the case of which] has been reported to the police.” In her Chinese-language post, Yip says that she noticed her child’s injuries in the middle of this month. She says that her child is one year and three months old. The post does not reveal the gender of her child.

According to her post, she first noticed her child’s injuries two weeks after their enrolment in the crèche early this month. In the second week, on a Friday night, the parents noticed bruises on their child’s inner arms. Yip says she and her husband at that time did not think that their child might have been “abused” in the crèche. Over that weekend, the injuries “more or less” faded. On the following Monday, they returned their child to the crèche. However, in the evening when bathing their child they discovered new bruises on the inner arms. They reported the case to the police on 18 August and took their child to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre for a medical examination later that day.

According to the lengthy post, the couple and the police went together to the crèche on 18 August. A teacher at the crèche allegedly told them that the injuries happened because another staff member had used inappropriate force when picking up the child who was running around.

Yip also says in her post that she found out on 26 August that there were “other victims” among the children at the crèche last month. Her post does not identify the crèche. According to Yip’s post, the cases were also reported to the police and the bureau by the parents at that time.

Yip also claims that the crèche never apologised and never contacted the parents afterwards. According to her, the Social Welfare Bureau accepted last month’s complaints but failed to respond, “as if nothing had happened”. If according to Yip, the bureau had taken proper action in July, her child would not have been injured this month.

Yip says in her post that she decided to let the public know about the situation in order to protect her and other people’s children. She also says that the case should not be covered up.

According to a front-page report by the Chinese-language Macao Daily News, the newspaper interviewed the parents of three alleged victims from the same crèche. The report said that all three children sustained the same kind of injuries to their inner arms. The newspaper pointed out that two of the parents reported their respective cases to the police in July.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

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