Chapter 46:06 - Protection of Children

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L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN ACT
CHAPTER 46:06
Act
17 of 2009
1 – 53 ... 1/2012 (inclusive) by L.R.O.
Pages Authorised
Current Authorised Pages
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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.
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CHAPTER 46:06
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART II
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
3. General principles.
4. Child, youth and family service principles.
5. Best interests of child.
PART III
PROTECTIVE INTERVENTION
6. Definition of child in need of protective intervention.
7. Duty to report.
8. Determining the need for protective intervention.
9. Interview of child.
PART IV
COURT PROCEEDINGS
10. Director denied access to child.
11. Location of child not disclosed.
12. Order to produce record.
13. Child who needs to be protected from contact with someone.
14. Removal of child.
15. Time frame to hear matter.
16. Counselling prior to removal.
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN ACT
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SECTION
17. Care of child after removal.
18. Where child is not removed.
19. Medical treatment.
20. Plan for the child.
21. Protective intervention hearing.
22. Financial responsibility.
23. Time limits for temporary orders.
24. Alternate dispute resolution or assessment.
25. Effect of temporary order.
26. Effect of final order.
27. When final order ends.
28. Rescission of final order.
29. Discontinuance before protective intervention hearing.
PART V
GENERAL COURT MATTERS
30. Hearing and evidence.
31. Appearance in Court.
32. Application to be heard.
33. Judge to hear child.
34. Power to vary notice requirements.
35. Service of documents.
36. Full disclosure to parties.
37. Confidentiality of information.
38. Consent orders.
39. Custody application under another Act.
40. Variance.
PART VI
PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN ON REMOVAL
41. Placement consideration.
42. Agreements.
43. Information concerning child's care.
44. Removal of child from caregiver.
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45. Counselling.
SECTION
PART VII
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
46. Right of access and right to consent to disclose.
47. Exceptions to access rights.
48. Disclosure without consent.
PART VIII
OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN
49. General offence.
50. Contributing to an offence.
51. Removing a child.
PART IX
ACCOUNTABILITY PROVISIONS
52. Minister's advisory committee.
PART X
PROTECTION FROM UNSUITABLE INDIVIDUALS
53. Duty of Minister to keep list.
54. Inclusion in list on reference to Minister.
55. Appeals against inclusion in list.
56. Effect of inclusion in list.
57. The Board.
58. Power to remove difficulties.
59. Liability for an offence.
60. Applicants to be heard in camera.
61. Appeals.
PART XI
MISCELLANEOUS
62. Regulations.
63. Protection of Director and authorised officers.
64. Powers of the Childcare and Protection Agency.
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17 of 2009

Short title.

Interpretation.
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. This Act may be cited as the Protection of Children
Act.
2. (1) In this Act –
"Board" means the Child Protection Board established under
section 57;
"care" means the physical daily care and nurturing of a child;
"caregiver" means a person with whom a child is placed for
care with the approval of the Director and who, by
agreement with the Director, has assumed responsibility
for the care of the child but does not include a parent or a
day care centre;
"child" means a person under the age of eighteen years,
whether born in or out of wedlock, who has never been
married, and includes –
(a) a stepchild or child adopted by law;
or
(b) a child of the family;
except that in the case where a person has special needs
that person shall be a child under this Act regardless of
his age;
th[25 May, 2010]
general and for related matters.
children in difficult circumstances and children in
An Act to provide for the protection of children at risk,
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN ACT
CHAPTER 46:06
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"child care organisation" means an organisation –
(a) which is concerned with the provision
of accommodation, social services or
health care services to children or the
supervision of children; and
(b) which fulfils other conditions as may
be prescribed; "child care position"
means a position which –
(a) is concerned with the provision
of accommodation, social
services or health care services
to children or the supervision
of children; and
(b) is such as to enable the holder
to have regular contact with
children in the course of his
duties;
"Court" means the High Court;
"custody" means custody within the meaning of the laws
relating to custody, access, guardianship and
maintenance;
"Director" means the Director of the Childcare and Protection
Agency appointed by the Minister;
"employment” means –
(a) employment whether paid or unpaid
and whether under a contract for
services, or otherwise than under a
contract; and
(b) includes an office established by or by
virtue of a prescribed enactment, and
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c.32:02

General
principles.
references to an individual being
employed shall be construed
accordingly;
“mental impairment" means a state of arrested or incomplete
development of mind which includes a significant
impairment of intelligence and social functioning which
results in that person having special needs,
"Minister" means the Minister who has responsibility for
matters related to the welfare of children;
"organisation" means a body whether or not corporate or an
individual who employs others in the course of business;
“parent" unless the context otherwise implies means a
person's mother or father or stepmother or stepfather and
includes adoptive parents as well as a person who has
treated a child as a child of the family;
"physical impairment" means lacking part of or all of a limb,
or having a defective limb, organ or mechanism of the
body;
"protective intervention hearing" means the process where the
Court makes an order with respect to protection of the
child;
"registered medical practitioner" means a physician or other
person registered as a medical practitioner by the
Guyana Medical Council under the Medical Practitioners
Act.
PART II
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
3. This Act shall be interpreted and administered in
accordance with the following principles and due
consideration must be given to these principles by the, Court
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or any other body or entity that is charged with the
administration of these provisions –
(a) the overriding and paramount
consideration in any decision made
under this Act shall be the best
interests of the child;
(b) every child is entitled to be assured of
personal safety, health and well-
being;
(c) the family is the basic unit of society
responsible for the safety, health and
well- being of the child;
(d) the members of a community have a
responsibility to support the safety,
health and well-being of a child;
(e) prevention activities are integral to
the promotion of the safety, health
and well-being of a child;
(f) kinship ties are integral to a child's
self-development and growth and if a
child's safety, health and well-being
cannot be assured in the context of the
family, the extended family shall in
the first instance be encouraged to
care for the child provided that the
Director or the Court, as the case may
be, can be assured that the child's
safety, health and well-being will not
be at risk and that the best interests of
the child have been considered;
(g) the cultural heritage of a child shall be
respected;
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Child, youth
and family
(h) in the absence of evidence to the
contrary, there shall be a presumption
that a child twelve years of age or
over is capable of forming and
expressing an opinion regarding his
care and custody;
(i) the views of a child under twelve
years shall be heard and considered
once the child is of sufficient maturity
and understanding;
(j) removal of a child from home and
familiar surroundings shall be a
measure of last resort and shall be
ordered only after due consideration
has been given to the removal from
the home of the person whose
conduct or presence in the home is
not in the best interest of the child;
(k) where a child has been removed from
his home to a foster home, there shall
be a review every six months of the
need to continue this arrangement;
and
(l) if in the interests of the child he
cannot remain with or return to his
immediate or extended family, the
Court shall in arriving at its decision
consider the continuous care and
stability in the child's life and the
child's age, needs and the
requirement for a normal family
environment.
4. The following principles apply to the provision of
services under this Act whether provided by the State, Board
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service
principles.
Best interests of
child.
or other persons or entities –
(a) families shall be provided, to the
extent possible, with services which
support the safety, health, education
and well-being of their children;
(b) services shall be provided using the
least intrusive means of intervention;
(c) wherever possible, having regard to a
child's age and level of development,
the views and wishes of the child
shall be sought and considered in
providing services;
(d) families shall be informed of the
services which may be available to
them to assist them in supporting a
child's safety, health, education and
well-being;
(e) families shall be encouraged to
participate in the identification,
planning, provision and evaluation of
services available to them; and
(f) services shall be provided in a
manner that acknowledges a child's
overall needs for safety, health,
education and well-being.
5. All relevant factors shall be considered in
determining a child's best interests, including –
(a) the child's safety and health;
(b) the child's educational and
developmental needs;
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Definition of
child in need of
protective
intervention
(c) where possible, the child's views and
wishes;
(d) the importance of stability and
continuity in the child's care;
(e) the continuity of a child's relationship
with his family, including siblings or
others with whom the child has a
significant relationship;
(f) the child's geographic and social
environment;
(g) the child's supportive environment
outside the family, including child
care and the school environment;
(h) the effect upon the child of a delay in
judicial or other proceedings with
respect to the child; and
(i) any issues to be considered where a
child is HIV positive or has special
needs.
PART III
PROTECTIVE INTERVENTION
6. A child is in need of protective intervention where
the child –
(a) is, or is at risk of, being physically or
emotionally harmed by the action or
lack of appropriate action by the
child's parent, guardian, person in
whose care the child is left or other
persons living in or visiting the
household;
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(b) is, or is at risk of, being sexually or
emotionally abused or exploited by
the child's parent, guardian, person in
whose care the child is left or other
persons living in or visiting the
household;
(c) is, or is at risk of, being physically
harmed by a person and the child's
parent, guardian or person in whose
care the child is left, does not protect
or seek protection for the child;
(d) is, or is at risk of, being abused or
exploited by a person and the child’s
parent, guardian or person in whose
care the child is left does not protect
the child.
(e) is being emotionally harmed by a
person;
(f) is in the custody or de facto custody of
a person who refuses or fails to obtain
or permit essential medical,
psychiatric, surgical or remedial care
or treatment to be given to the child
when recommended by a qualified
health practitioner;
(g) is abandoned;
(h) has no living parent or has a parent
who is unavailable to care for him and
who has not made adequate provision
for his care;
(i) is living in a situation where there is
violence;
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Duty to report.
(j) has –
(i) been left without adequate
supervision;
(ii) allegedly killed or seriously
injured another person or has
caused serious damage to
another person's property; or
(iii) on one or more occasion cause
injury to another person or
other living thing or
threatened, either with or
without weapons, to cause
injury to another person or
other living thing, either with
the parent's encouragement or
because the parent does not
respond adequately to the
situation; or
(iv) is being exposed to drugs or
obscene material or objects.
7. (1) Where a person has direct information that a
child is or may be in need of protect intervention, the person
shall immediately report the matter to the Director, a
probation officer appointed by the Public Service Commission
a police officer.
(2) Where a person makes a report under
subsection (1) the person shall report all information in his
possession
(3) Where a report was made to a police officer
under subsection (1), the police officer shall immediately
inform the Director of the said report, investigate the matter
promptly, and inform the Director of the findings of the
investigation.
(4) This section applies, notwithstanding the
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provisions of any other law to a person referred to in
subsection (5) who, in the course of his professional duties,
has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in
need of protective intervention.
(5) Subsection (4) applies to every person who
performs professional or official duties or is in a position of
trust with respect to a child, including –
(a) a health care professional;
(b) a school principal, teacher, social
worker, family counsellor, coach,
religious leader, operator or employee
of a child care service;
(c) a police officer;
(d) an attorney-at-law;
(e) a member of a non-governmental
organisation which provides special
services for children;
(f) a person who is entrusted with the
care of children;
(g) a mediator; and
(h) a coroner.
(6) A person pursuant to subsections (4) and (5)
who is found to have had knowledge and failed to make a
report commits an offence and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine of fifty thousand dollars.
(7) This section applies notwithstanding that the
information is confidential or privileged, and an action does
not lie against the informant unless the making of the report
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Determining
the need for
protective
intervention

Interview of
child.
is done maliciously or without reasonable cause.
(8) A person shall not interfere with or harass a
person who gives information under this section.
(9) A person who contravenes subsection (8)
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a
fine of two hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for
a term of twelve months.
(10) Notwithstanding any other law, a complaint
under subsection (8) shall be laid within three years from the
day when the matter of the complaint arose.
8. (1) Upon receiving information that a child is or
may be in need of protective intervention, the Director or a
social worker shall assess whether the child is in need of
protective intervention.
(2) After the assessment, the Director or the social
worker may –
(a) determine that protective intervention
is required;
(b) determine that protective intervention
is not required;
(c) offer support services to the child and
family;
(d) refer the child and family to other
services; or
(e) investigate further the child's need for
protective intervention.
9. (1) A person who has custody of a child or a person
who is entrusted with the care of a child shall, at a place
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Director denied
access to child.
where the child is located, permit the child to be visited and
interviewed by the Director, a social worker or someone duly
appointed by the Director, in private where in the opinion of
the Director or social worker or that person appointed, it is
appropriate or necessary to do so.
(2) The Director, social worker or person
appointed by the Director shall notify, where possible, the
parent who has custody or a person who has care of the child
of the interview and request the presence of that parent or a
representative of the child at the interview.
(3) Subsection (2) shall not apply where the
Director, social worker or person appointed by the Director
determines that it would not be in the best interests of the
child for this procedure to be followed.
PART IV
COURT PROCEEDINGS
10. (1) Where the Director or a social worker is denied
access to a child where he believes that access to the child is
necessary to determine if the child needs protective
intervention, the Director or social worker may apply ex parte
to a Judge for an order and the Judge may grant orders inter
alia –
(a) that a person disclose the location of
the child;
(b) requiring a person to allow the
Director or social worker to interview,
visually and if necessary, medically
examine the child;
(c) authorising the Director or social
worker to remove the child from the
place where the child is located for an
interview or medical examination;
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Location of
child not
disclosed.
and
(d) authorising a medical practitioner or
other qualified health practitioner to
examine the child.
(2) A Court may grant any other order that is
necessary for carrying out the provisions of paragraphs (a) to
(d), inclusive.
(3) The Judge may attach terms and conditions to
an order under this section that the Judge considers
appropriate.
(4) Where a child is removed from the place where
the child was located for an interview or medical
examination, the Director or social worker shall return the
child to the parent or other person who has care of the child
from whom the child was removed unless the Director or
social worker proceeds under section 14.
(5) At the request of the Director or social worker,
a police officer shall assist in enforcing an order made under
subsections (1) and (4).
11. (1) Where a person does not comply with an order
under section 10, a Judge may issue a warrant for the person's
arrest to bring him before the Judge to explain why the order
should not be enforced.
(2) Where a person referred to in subsection (1)
appears before a Judge and the Judge believes that the
person's reasons for being unable or unwilling to comply with
the order are not valid, the Judge may order that the person
be imprisoned for thirty days.
(3) The Court may draw adverse inferences during
the hearing of the substantive matter until the person
complies with the order under section 10.
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Order to
produce record.
Child who
needs to be
protected from
contact with
someone.
12. (1) On application by the Director or social worker,
a Judge may order a person to produce information that is
written, photographed, recorded or stored by other means, or
a certified copy of the record, for inspection by the Director or
social worker where –
(a) there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the information is
necessary for determining whether a
child needs protective intervention;
(b) there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the person has possession
or control of the information; and
(c) the person has neglected or refused,
upon request of the Director or social
worker to produce the information.
(2) Notice of the time, date and place of the hearing
of the application under subsection (1) shall be served on the
person against whom the order is sought.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), where the
Director or social worker believes on reasonable grounds that
the information may be destroyed if notice is given, an ex
parte application may be made under subsection (1).
13. (1) Where there are reasonable grounds to believe
that contact between a child and another person would cause
the child to be in need of protective intervention, the Director
or social worker may apply to a Court for an order to prohibit
contact between the child and that person.
(2) Where an ex parte application for an order has
not been granted, the date set for hearing the application
under subsection (1) shall be not later than two days after the
application is made and notice of the hearing shall be served
on the day the application is made or on the next working
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day.
(3) Notice of the time, date and place of the hearing
shall be served on –
(a) the person against whom the ex parte
order is sought;
(b) the child, if he or she is twelve years
of age or over; and
(c) a parent of the child.
(4) Where a Court is satisfied that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that contact between a child
and a person named in an application under subsection (1)
would cause the child to be in need of protective intervention,
the Court may do one or more of the following –
(a) prohibit the person against whom the
order is sought for a period of up to
twelve months from contacting or
interfering with or trying to contact or
interfere with the child or from
entering a place where the child is
located or is usually located.
(b) prohibit the person against whom the
order is sought for a period of up to
twelve months from residing with the
child or entering premises where the
child resides, including premises that
the person owns or has a right to
occupy.
(c) where the Judge believes the person
against whom the order is sought
may not comply with an order under
paragraph (a) or (b), the Court may
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order that person to –
(i) enter into a recognizance, with
or without sureties, in an
amount the Judge considers
appropriate; or
(ii) report to a Judge, or to a person
named by the Judge, for the
period of time and at the times
and places the Judge directs;
and
(d) impose those terms and conditions
that the Court considers appropriate
for implementing the order and
protecting the child.
(5) A failure to comply with subsection (4) (c) (i)
shall be reported by the Director or a social worker to the
Judge and the Judge shall take action as considered
appropriate.
(6) Before an order to prohibit contact between a
child and another person expires, the Director or social
worker may apply to the Court and the Court may –
(a) vary the order;
(b) rescind the order; or
(c) extend the term of the order for one
period of up to six months.
(7) At the request of the Director or social worker,
a police officer shall assist in enforcing an order made under
subsection (4).
(8) An order made under this section may be made
at any time including, at or after another hearing.
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Removal of
child

Time frame to
hear matter.
(9) The person against whom an order is made
under this section may appeal the said order in accordance
with section 61.
14. (1) In the event that the various types of
intervention as provided for in section 8 have failed and the
Director or social worker believes that a child is in need of
protective intervention, he shall obtain an order of Court to
remove a child.
(2) Where satisfied on the basis of a Director's or
social worker's ex parte application that there are reasonable
grounds to believe that a child is in need of protective
intervention, a Judge may issue an order authorising the
Director or social worker to enter the premises or a vehicle or
board a vessel or aircraft, by force, if necessary, to remove a
child.
(3) At the request of the Director or social worker,
a police officer shall assist in enforcing an order issued under
subsection (2).

(4) An order issued under subsection (2) shall have
sufficient information to identify the child or premises where
the child may be located.
(5) The ex parte order shall be served on the parent
of the child or organisation which has care of the child.
(6) For the avoidance of doubt where the Director
or social worker determines that it is in the best interest of the
child to be removed from a particular environment, the
Director or social worker shall so remove the child and shall
as soon as practicable thereafter make an application to the
Court seeking direction for the child's care and placement.
15. The Court shall render its decision in writing on
the matter referred in section 14 within ninety days of filing.

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Counselling
prior to
removal.

Care of child
after removal.
16. Where applicable, the Director or social worker
may provide counselling to the child prior to the child's
removal from the home or other location.
17. (1) Where a child is removed under section 14, the
Director has interim care of the child until –
(a) the child is returned under section 20
to the parent from whom the child
was removed; or
(b) a Court makes such order as it deems
fit.
(2) Where a child has been removed under section
14, the Director shall place the child in accordance with the
provisions of section 41 herein.
(3) While a child is in the Director's care, the
Director or a social worker shall ensure the child is examined
by a registered medical practitioner; and
(4) The Director or social worker shall notify the
parent from whom the child was removed that the child has
undergone a medical examination.
(5) While pursuant to a Court order, a child is
hospitalised and is removed from his parent by a Director or
social worker, the chief executive officer or Matron of the
hospital and the attending registered medical practitioner
shall be advised of the child's removal and that the child's
care is the responsibility of the Director.
(6) Should the child be found to be in need of
special care then the Director shall obtain a special order of
the Court to direct the hospital administration that the child is
under the jurisdiction of the Director.
(7) In the event that in the course of the child's
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Where the child
is not removed.
treatment an invasive procedure is required, the Director
shall seek the consent of the child's parents; if such consent is
unreasonably withheld, the Director may make the decision
in these circumstances in the best interests of the child or
obtain a Court order as provided for by section 20.
(8) Where the child in question is sixteen years or
older, is conscious and capable of so giving, the Director shall
seek and obtain the consent of the child for the administering
of medical treatment, examination and evaluation in order to
determine the medical status of the child.
18. (1) Where the Director or social worker believes on
reasonable grounds that –
(a) a child is in need of protective
intervention but not urgently so;
(b) with the provision of protective
intervention services the child's safety
could be assured without removing
the child;
(c) a parent or caregiver of the child is
unwilling to accept protective
intervention services for the child; or
(d) an organisation or a person (other
than a parent) who is in charge of a
child in respect of whom intervention
is sought to be made and whose
actions have not been in the child's
best interests,
the Director or social worker shall file an application for an
order of a Judge that the child is in need of protective
intervention and for a protective intervention hearing.
(2) A hearing under this section shall be held
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Medical
treatment.
within fourteen days of the filing of the application under
subsection (1).
(3) Notice of the time and place of a hearing under
this section shall be served within three days after the date for
holding the hearing is obtained from the Court on –
(a) a parent or caregiver of the child;
(b) the child, where the child is twelve
years of age or older; or
(c) an organisation who is in charge of a
child.
(4) Where an application is made under this
section, a Judge may make an order under section 21.
(5) With respect to section 17, this section and any
other provisions on this Act, a Director may appear before a
Judge or make an application to the Court with or without
legal representation.
19. (1) Where the Director or social worker believes a
child to be in need of protective intervention because of his
parent's refusal to obtain or permit essential medical,
psychiatric, surgical or remedial treatment that is
recommended by a registered medical practitioner for the
child, the Director or social worker may apply for an ex parte
order authorising the treatment.
(2) A parent and the child, where possible, where
the child is twelve years of age or over, shall be notified of the
time and place of a hearing under this section which shall
commence within one day after filing the application.
(3) A Judge may hear the application at any time or
place.

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Plan for the
child.
(4) Where a Court finds that a child needs
protective intervention for a reason referred to in subsection
(1), the Court may so declare and grant an order authorising
the treatment recommended by a registered medical
practitioner.
(5) Where a child is treated under an order under
this section, no liability attaches to the person treating the
child by reason only that the parent of the child did not
consent to the treatment.
(6) Notwithstanding subsection (1) where a child is
sixteen years or older, the Director or social worker shall seek
to obtain the consent in writing of that child, if conscious and
capable of so giving, to medical treatment.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be taken to limit or
affect the right of a person to consent to or administer
necessary medical treatment to a child in the best interests of
the child or in accordance with medical treatment ordered by
the Court.
20. (1) Not later than ten days prior to a protective
intervention hearing, the Director or social worker shall file
with the Court a written plan for the child and provide a copy
to those persons to whom notice of the hearing has been
given.
(2) Not later than five days prior to a protective
intervention hearing those persons to whom a copy of a plan
has been given under subsection (1) may respond to the plan
and file an alternate written plan with the Court and provide
a copy to the Director or social worker.
(3) Before the conclusion of a hearing for a
protective intervention order, a Court may –
(a) grant a temporary order –

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Protective
intervention
hearing.
(i) that the child be returned to the
parent under the supervision of
the Director or social worker
until the conclusion of the
protective intervention hearing;
(ii) that the child be placed in the
care of a person other than the
person from whom the child
was removed under the
supervision of the Director or
social worker until the
conclusion of the protective
intervention hearing;
(iii) that the child remain in the care
of the Director or social worker
until the conclusion of the
protective intervention hearing;
or
(b) make a declaration that further
inquiry needs to be made to
determine whether the child is in
need of protective intervention.
(4) At a protective intervention hearing a Court
may give the parties to the hearing directions with respect to
those matters that are relevant at a protective intervention
hearing.
(5) A Court may attach those conditions to an
order that it considers appropriate.
(6) When a Judge makes an order under this
section, the Judge may grant a parent, or a person significant
to the child, contact with the child.
21. (1) At a protective intervention hearing a Court
shall determine whether a child needs protective intervention.

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(2) Where a Court finds that a child needs
protective intervention, the Court shall so declare and order –
(a) that the child be returned to or remain
with the parent and under the
Director's supervision or that of a
social worker for such period as the
Court thinks fit and which shall be
subject to an extension should it be
found to be necessary.
(b) that the child be placed in the custody
of a person or organisation other than
the parent home or environment from
which the child was removed, with
the consent of the other person or
organisation; or
(c) that the child be placed in the
continuous custody of the Director or
other suitable person with the consent
of the other person.
(3) A Court may attach those conditions to an
order made under subsection (2) that it considers appropriate.
(4) Where a Judge makes an order under
subsection (2) (b) or (c) the Judge may grant a parent contact
with the child under such terms and conditions as the Court
deems fit.
(5) Where the Judge finds that the child does not
need protective intervention, the Judge shall so declare and
order that the child remain with or be returned to the parent
or organisation from whom the child was removed.
(6) In the course of considering all matters set out
in this section, the Court shall have regard to the views of the
child and the child shall be entitled to legal representation
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Financial
Responsibility.
Time limits for
temporary
orders.
provided by the State.
22. (1) Where a child is committed temporarily or
continuously to the custody of the Director or other person,
upon application by the Director or social worker or other
person, a Judge may order that the obligation of the parent to
provide maintenance for the child shall continue subject to the
law relating to custody, access, guardianship and
maintenance.
(2) The parent against whom an order under
subsection (1) has been made shall make payments for the
benefit of the child on the terms and conditions and for the
period the Judge considers appropriate.
23. (1) Where a Judge grants a temporary order under
section 20(3) (a) (i) or (ii), the term of the order shall not
exceed a maximum of three months.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a Judge may,
in exceptional circumstances, grant an extension and this
extension shall not exceed three months.
(3) Before a temporary order expires, the Director
or a social worker may file an application with a Judge for an
extension of the existing order or for an order no later than
twenty-one days prior to the expiration of the temporary
order and shall serve this application within three days of
filing.
(4) Notice of the time and place of a hearing for an
extension with respect to an application under subsection (3)
shall be given not later than fourteen days from the date of
filing on –
(a) a parent; and
(b) a child, where the child is twelve
years of age or older.
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Alternate
dispute
resolution or
assessment.

Effects of
temporary
order.
(5) At least three days before the date set for a
hearing those receiving notice may respond to the Director's
or social worker's plan and provide an alternate written plan
to the Judge with a copy to the Director or social worker.
(6) Hearing for an extension shall be determined
before the temporary order expires.
24. (1) Notwithstanding section 23, a Judge may
adjourn a proceeding under this Act one or more times, for a
total period of up to three months, to allow –
(a) a pre-trial settlement conference, a
family conference, mediation or other
means of alternate dispute resolution
to proceed; or
(b) where an assessment is considered
necessary by a Judge, Director or
social worker, an assessment to be
completed.
(2) Where a proceeding is adjourned under
subsection (1), a time limit applicable to the proceeding
remains applicable.
(3) Where, as a result of a pre-trial settlement
conference, a family conference, mediation or other means of
alternate dispute resolution, a written agreement is made, the
Director or social worker shall file the agreement with the
Court which shall be made into a final order of Court.
25. (1) Where the Director has been granted a
temporary order under section 20, the Director has custody of
the child for the specified period and shall have the right to
make all decisions regarding the child during that specified
period, but the Director shall not consent –
(a) to medical treatment, unless a parent
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Effects of
continuous
order.

When final
order ends.

Rescission of
continuous
order.
consents or the Director is granted an
order under section 19;
(b) to an adoption under the law relating
to adoption of children, without the
consent of the parent from whom the
child was removed.
(2) Where the child is sixteen years or older the
consent of the child if conscious and capable of so giving,
shall be obtained.
26. (1) Where the child has been placed in the
continuous custody of the Director, the Director shall select a
suitable foster home, orphanage or voluntary home in which
the child shall be placed.
(2) The Director may approach the Court for
directions on the future state of the child.
27. (1) An order for continuous custody ceases to have
effect when –
(a) the child reaches eighteen years of
age;
(b) the child marries; or
(c) the Court rescinds the order,
whichever occurs first.
(2) The child on attaining the age of sixteen, shall
be at liberty to apply to discharge an order for continuous
custody without a guardian ad litem or next friend.
28. (1)Where circumstances have changed
significantly since the time when an order for continuous
custody was made, the Director or a party to the hearing at
which the order was made may apply to the Court for the
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Discontinu-
ance before
protective
intervention
hearing.
discharge of the order.
(2) Notice of an application for a hearing shall be
served not later than ten days prior to the hearing on –
(a) any party who was present at the
original hearing;
(b) a child, where the child is twelve
years of age or older; and
(c) a person who represents the child.
(3) The Judge may grant an order to rescind an
order for continuous custody, where he believes it is in the
best interest of the child to do so.
(4) The Director shall continue to monitor the child
in a manner that is considered by the Director to be
appropriate.
(5) The views of the child shall be obtained prior to
the making of an order by the Court.
29. (1) Where a child is returned to the parent or other
person who previously had care of the child before a Court
for a protective intervention hearing, the Director or social
worker shall –
(a) seek leave of a Judge to discontinue
the application for a protective
intervention hearing;
(b) provide notice of the intention to
apply to discontinue the application
to the persons previously given notice
of the application for a protective
intervention hearing; and

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Hearing the
evidence.
(c) file with the Court and provide to all
persons receiving notice a written
explanation of the circumstances for
discontinuing the removal.
(2) Where leave of a Judge is sought under this
section, the matter shall be heard no later than the date set for
the protection intervention hearing and the Judge may
rescind any outstanding order made in relation to the child.
PART V
GENERAL COURT MATTERS
30. (1) A hearing under this Act –
(a) is civil in nature; and
(b) may be as informal as a Judge may
allow.
(2) A special measures directions may provide for
the wearing of gowns to be dispensed with while a witness is
testifying or during any other part of the proceedings.
(3) In any proceeding under this Part and
notwithstanding any other law, a Judge may admit and act
upon –
(a) the evidence, including hearsay, that
the Judge considers relevant and
reliable in the circumstances;
(b) an oral or written statement which
may have been video-taped; and
(c) a report the Judge considers relevant,
including a transcript, exhibit or
finding in an earlier civil or criminal
proceeding.
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Appearance in
Court

Application to
be heard.

Judge to hear
child.

Power to vary
notice
Requirements.

Service of
documents.

Full disclosure
to parties
31. The Director or a social worker shall have
audience in Court in respect of a matter arising out of a
provision of this Act.
32. A person who has custody or care of a child may
apply to be heard at a hearing under this Act.
33. A Judge shall permit a child who is the subject of a
hearing under this Act to be heard at the hearing where the
child requests to be heard or the Judge so orders, and the
State shall provide assistance, if required, for the child to have
legal representation.
34. In the event of an emergency or where the best
interests of the child so dictate, a Judge may –
(a) shorten the time period to perform
any act under this Act, or
(b) dispense with a requirement to serve
notice of a hearing under this Act.
35. (1) Where the Director, a social worker or another
person is required under this Act to serve a document on a
person, personal service may be made by showing the
original to the person and giving a copy of the original
document to the person to be served.
(2) Personal service under subsection (1) may be
proved by a written or oral statement under oath by the
person who effected the service.
36. (1) A party to a hearing under this Act shall
disclose in a timely manner or as ordered by a Court all the
information relevant to the hearing in his possession where
requested to do so by another party to the hearing.
(2) Information identifying a person who has made
a complaint to the Director or social worker, or who provided
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Confidentiality
of information

Consent orders.
information to the Director or social worker with respect to a
child, shall not be disclosed unless the person who provided
the information consents.
37. (1) A person shall not disclose, or be compelled to
produce or disclose, at a hearing under this Act, information
obtained in a family conference, mediation or other means of
alternative dispute resolution, except –
(a) with the consent of everyone who
participated in the family conference,
mediation or other means of
alternative dispute resolution;
(b) to the extent necessary to make or
implement an agreement with respect
to a child;
(c) where the information is disclosed in
an agreement filed under section 24
(3); or
(d) where the disclosure is necessary for
the performance of the duties of the
Director or a Social worker acting in
the best interest of the child;
(e) where the disclosure is necessary for a
child's safety or is required under
section 7.
(2) A person who publishes or discloses to anyone
information that may lead to identification of a child commits
an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of
two hundred thousand dollars.
38. (1) Where a parent consents to an order made
under this Act, a Judge shall be satisfied –

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Custody
application
under another
Act.
Variance.

Placement
consideration.
(a) that the wishes of the child have been
considered; and
(b) that the parent consenting to the order
has been informed that he may be
represented by legal counsel and
understands the nature and
consequences of the consent.
(2) A consent by a parent under this Act is not an
admission by the parent of a ground alleged by the Director
or social worker for protective intervention.
39. (1) Where a hearing under this Act is proceeding
at the same time as custody of a child is being determined
under the law relating to custody, access, guardianship and
maintenance or under any other Act, a party may apply to
have the two matters heard together.
(2) Where one of the two matters is heard in the
High Court, the two matters shall be heard by that Court.
40. Where an order has been made under this Act, a
Judge may, upon application accompanied by evidence to the
satisfaction of the Judge that the circumstances relating to the
child have changed since the original order was given, vary
the order.
PART VI
PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN ON REMOVAL
41. (1) The placement of a child shall be conducted in
a manner which is least disruptive to a child and recognises
the importance of placement with siblings, wherever possible
and contact with family or other persons who are significant
to the child including godparents, or close family friends.
(2) The Director or social worker shall first
consider placement of a child with a relative or person with
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Agreements.

Information
concerning
child's care.
whom the child has a significant relationship.
(3) Where a child is removed by the Director or
social worker from a custodial parent and the non-custodial
parent is considered by the Director or social worker to be
suitable to provide care, the child may be placed with the
non-custodial parent pending final determination of the
application before the Court.
(4) Where a child cannot be placed in accordance
with subsection (2) or (3), the child may be placed with a
caregiver voluntary home, foster home or other organisation.
42. (1) If ordered by a Court, the Director or a social
worker may make an agreement for service including
financial support, with a person, foster home or organisation
providing care to or entrusted with the care of a child
pursuant to this Act.
(2) Where an agreement is made under sub-section
(1) with a non-custodial parent, the non-custodial parent shall
be entitled to financial support from the other parent, if
required.
(3) A person, foster home or organisation who
provides care under this Act shall be approved by the
Director or a social worker.
43. (1) The Director or a social worker shall provide
information concerning a child's prior care to a person
required to provide care to or entrusted with the care of the
child by the Director or social worker, or if so ordered by the
Court.
(2) The Director or social worker shall provide
information concerning the caregiver of a child, the parent of
the child and any other person who may have had care of the
child to the person now entrusted with the care of the child.

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Removal of
child from
caregiver

Counselling.

Right of access
and right to
consent to
disclose
44. The Director or a social worker may remove a
child from the care of a caregiver with whom the Director or
social worker has placed the child, without notice, if
necessary, but only where the removal is in the child's best
interests.
45. A child who is removed from a person caring for
the child, shall be counselled.
PART VII
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE OF
INFORMATION
46. (1) A person over twelve years of age has the right
to and shall, on request, be given access to information
relating to himself including –
(a) information relating to his birth
family;
(b) the reasons why he was removed
from his parent;
(c) the reasons for the continuation of a
Court order relating to him; and
(d) the identity of former caregivers.
(2) A person who has custody of a child other than
temporary custody has the right to and shall, on request, be
given access to information including information about the
child referred to in subsection (1).
(3) The right to be given access to information does
not extend to information exempted from disclosure under
section 47.
(4) Where information exempted torn disclosure
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Exceptions to
access rights.

Disclosure
without
consent.
under section 47 can reasonably be severed, a person referred
to in subsection (1) or (2) has the right of access to the
remainder of the information.
47. A person shall be denied access to information
where –
(a) the disclosure is prohibited under the
law relating to adoption of children;
(b) there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the disclosure might
result in physical or emotional harm
to that person or to another person;
(c) where the disclosure would identify a
person who made a report under
section 7; or
(d) the disclosure could reasonably be
expected to jeopardize an assessment
or intervention under this Act or a
criminal investigation.
48. Subject to section 47, a Director may, without the
consent of another person, authorise the disclosure of
information obtained under this Act if the disclosure is –
(a) necessary to ensure the safety, health
or well-being of a child;
(b) shared with persons entrusted with
the care of a child;
(c) necessary for the administration of
this Act; or
(d) for research and evaluation purposes.

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General
offence.

Contributing
to an offence.
PART VIII
OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN
49. A person who by commission or omission wilfully
contributes to a child being a child in need of protective
intervention commits an offence and is liable on summary
conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for a term of six months.
50. (1) A person who sells, gives or causes to come
into the possession of a child, including ingesting for the
purpose of trafficking –
(a) a drug or substance, which is or, is
such quantity that it may be harmful
to the child;
(b) an obscene book or other printed
material, copies or written obscene
matter;
(c) an obscene picture, photograph, or
pornographic material or model
available through electronic means;
(d) any other obscene object; or
(e) intoxicating liquor or tobacco
products,
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a
fine of two hundred thousand dollars, or to imprisonment for
a term of six months.
(2) A person who employs a child on premises that
sells intoxicating liquor commits an offence and is liable on
summary conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand
dollars, or to a term of imprisonment of six months.

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Removing a
child

Minister’s
Advisory
Committee.
(3) A person who employs a child in an
establishment to engage in acts of prostitution commits an
offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of four
hundred thousand dollars, together with a term of
imprisonment of not less than six months.
51. A person who removes or attempts to remove a
child or entices a child to leave the care or custody of the
Director or harbours a child who has left the care or custody
of the Director commits an offence and shall be liable on
summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of one year.
PART IX
ACCOUNTABILITY PROVISIONS
52. (1) The Minister shall establish an advisory
committee whose function is to review every two years the
operation of this Act and to report to the Minister concerning
its operation and stating whether, in its opinion, the
principles and purpose of the Act are being achieved.
(2) The advisory committee shall be appointed by
the Minister and shall be composed of –
(a) two persons who themselves or
whose children are receiving or have
received services under this Act or a
predecessor Act;
(b) a representative of the Minister;
(c) an attorney-at-law assigned to or
employed by a recognised Legal Aid
provider;
(d) the Director who shall be an ex-officio
member; and
(e) three other persons who have worked
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Duty of
Minister to
keep list.
c.8:02
c.8:01
with children and have a background
in social work or psychology, who are
nominated by their respective
organisations to be appointed to the
committee.
(3) Appointments to the advisory committee shall
be for three years and may be renewed for a further period of
three years.
(4) The members of the committee shall elect one
from amongst them to serve as chairperson.
(5) The members of the committee shall serve
without remuneration but may be reimbursed for expenses
reasonably incurred in carrying out their duties on the
committee.

PART X
PROTECTION FROM UNSUITABLE INDIVIDUALS
53. (1) The Director shall compile and the Minister
shall keep a list of individuals who are considered unsuitable
to work with children upon receipt of confirmation of that
person's conviction for an offence under this Act or for an
offence against a child under the Summary Jurisdiction
Offences Act, Criminal Law Offences Act or any other law or
in circumstances as set out in section 54.
(2) An individual shall not be included in the list
unless that individual has been referred to the Minister under
section 54.
(3) Except for extreme or urgent circumstances, a
person whose name has been submitted for inclusion on the
list shall be notified in writing by the Minister within seven
days of such a submission and the reasons stated for such
submission.

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Inclusion in list
on reference to
Minister.
(4) The Minister shall appoint a person to conduct
a hearing with respect to the request for inclusion on the list
prior to such inclusion.
(5) The Minister may at any time remove an
individual from the list if the Minister is satisfied that the
individual should not have been included in it.
54. (1) A child care organisation, the Minister
responsible for Health, the Minister responsible for Education
or the Minister responsible for Home Affairs shall, and any
organisation may, refer to the Minister an individual who is
or has been employed in a child care position if there is
fulfilled –
(a) any of the conditions mentioned in
subsection (2); or
(b) the condition mentioned in subsection
(4).
(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) (a)
are –
(a) that the child care organisation has
dismissed the individual on the
grounds of misconduct or of being
convicted of a sexual offence under
any law (whether or not in the course
of his employment) which harmed a
child or placed a child at risk of harm;
(b) that an individual has resigned or
retired in circumstances where the
organisation would have considered
dismissing that individual, on the
grounds of misconduct or that he was
convicted of a sexual offence if he had
not resigned or retired;
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(c) the individual was convicted of a
sexual offence.
(3) For the purposes of this section –
"development" includes physical, social or behavioural
development;
"harm" includes impairment of health or development;
"health" means physical or mental health; and
"ill-treatment" includes sexual abuse and forms of ill-
treatment which are not physical.
(4) The condition referred to in subsection (1) (b) is
that –
(a) in circumstances not falling within
subsection (2), the child care
organisation has dismissed the
individual, the individual has
resigned or retired or the organisation
has transferred him to a position
within the organisation which is not a
child care position;
(b) information with respect to the
individual not available to the
organisation at the time of the
dismissal, resignation, retirement or
transfer has since become available;
and
(c) the organisation has formed the
opinion that, if that information had
been available at that time and if
(where applicable) the individual had
not resigned or retired, the
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organisation would have dismissed
the individual or would have
considered dismissing him, on the
grounds mentioned in subsection
(2)(a).
(5) If it appears from the information submitted
with a reference under subsection (1) that it may, except for a
convicted sex offender, be appropriate for the individual to be
included in the list kept under section 53 (1), the Minister
shall –
(a) determine the reference in accordance
with subsections (6) to (8); and
(b) pending that determination
provisionally include the individual
in the list.
(6) The Minister shall –
(a) invite observations from the
individual on the information
submitted with the reference and, if
the Minister thinks fit, the Minister
may also invite observations on any
information submitted pursuant to
paragraph (b); and
(b) invite observations from the
organisation on the information
submitted with the reference and, if
the Minister thinks fit, on any other
observations under paragraph (a).
(7) Where –
(a) the Minister has considered the
information submitted with the
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reference, any observations submitted
to the Minister and any other
information which he considers
relevant; and
(b) in the case of a reference under
subsection (2) (a), the organisation has
dismissed the individual or, as the
case may be, has confirmed his
transfer on such grounds as are there
mentioned, the Minister shall confirm
the individual's inclusion in the list if
subsection (8) applies; otherwise the
Minister shall remove the individual
from the list.
(8) This subsection applies if the Minister is of the
opinion –
(a) that the organisation reasonably
considered the individual to be guilty
of misconduct (whether or not in the
course of his employment) which
harmed a child or placed a child at
risk of harm; and
(b) that the individual is unsuitable to
work with children.
(9) The reference in subsection (7) (b) to the
organisation dismissing the individual on such grounds as
are mentioned in subsection (2) (a) includes –
(a) a reference to the individual resigning
or retiring in circumstances such that
the organisation would have
dismissed him, or would have
considered dismissing him, on such
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Appeals
against
inclusion in
list.
grounds if he had not retired or
resigned; and
(b) a reference to the organisation
transferring the individual, on such
grounds, to a position within the
organisation which is not a child care
position.
(10) Nothing in this section shall require a child
care organisation to refer an individual whose resignation,
retirement, transfer or suspension took place before the
commencement of this section.
55. (1) An individual who is included (otherwise than
provisionally) in the list kept by the Minister under section 53
may appeal to the Board against the decision to include him
in the list.
(2) Subject to subsection (5), an individual who
has been provisionally included for a period of more than
three months in the list kept by the Minister under section 53
may have the issue of his inclusion in the list determined by
the Board instead of by the Minister.
(3) The Board shall make its decision on the appeal
known to the appellant and the Minister.
(4) Where an individual has been convicted of an
offence involving misconduct or a sexual offence (whether or
not in the course of employment) which has harmed a child
or placed a child at risk of harm, no finding of fact on which
the conviction must be taken to have been based shall be
challenged on an appeal or determined under this section.
(5) Where the misconduct of which the individual
is alleged to have been guilty is the subject of any civil or
criminal proceedings, an application under subsection (2)
may not be made before the end of the period of one month
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Effect of
inclusion in
the list.
immediately following the final determination of the
proceedings.
(6) For the purposes of subsection (5), proceedings
are finally determined when –
(a) the proceedings are terminated
without a decision being made;
(b) a decision is made against which no
appeal lies;
(c) in a case where an appeal lies with
leave against a decision, the time
limited for applications for leave
expires without leave being granted;
or
(d) in a case where leave to appeal
against a decision is granted or is not
required, the time limited for appeal
expires without an appeal being
brought.
56. (1) Where a child care organisation proposes to
offer an individual employment in a child care position, the
organisation –
(a) shall ascertain whether the individual
is included in the list kept under
section 53;
(b) if the individual is included in that
list, shall not offer the individual
employment in such a position.
(2) Where a child care organisation proposes to
offer employment in a child care position to an individual
who has been supplied by an organisation which carries on
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L.R.O. 1/2012

The board.
an employment agency there is a sufficient compliance with
subsection (1) if the child care organisation –
(a) satisfies itself that, on a date within
the last twelve months, the other
organisation ascertained whether the
individual was included in the list
kept under section 54;
(b) obtains written confirmation of the
facts as ascertained by that
organisation; and
(c) if the individual was included in the
list on that date, does not offer him
employment in a child care position.
(3) On the commencement of this Act, it is
immaterial for the purposes of subsection (1) or (2) whether
the individual is already employed by the child care
organisation.
57. (1) There shall be established a Board to be known
as the Child Protection Board comprising of five persons
including a Social Worker and an Attorney-at-Law, which
shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred on it by or under this
Act.
(2) The Minister may by regulations make
provision about the proceedings of the Board on an appeal or
determination under section 55 or regulations made under
section 62.
(3) The regulations may, in particular, include
provision –
(a) as to the manner in which appeals are
to be instituted or applications for
determinations are to be made;
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50 Cap. 46:06 Protection of Children
L.R.O. 1/2012
(b) as to the period within which appeals
are to be instituted;
(c) as to the circumstances in which
applications for leave may be made;
(d) for enabling any functions which
relate to applications for leave for
other matters preliminary or
incidental to an appeal or
determination to be performed by the
Chairperson;
(e) for the holding of hearings in
prescribed circumstances;
(f) for imposing reporting restrictions in
prescribed circumstances;
(g) as to the qualification of persons who
may appear on behalf of the parties;
(h) for granting a person such discovery
or inspection of documents or right to
further particulars as might be
granted by the High Court;
(i) for requiring persons to attend to give
evidence and produce documents;
(j) for authorising the administration of
oaths to witnesses;
(k) for the determination of appeals or
issues or applications or leave without
a hearing in prescribed circumstances;
(1) as to the withdrawal of appeals or
applications for determinations;
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L.R.O. 1/2012
(m) for the award of costs or expenses;
(n) for taxing or otherwise setting any
such costs or expenses (and, in
particular, for enabling such costs to
be taxed in the Court);
(o) for the recording and proof of
decisions and orders of the Board;
(p) for enabling the Board to review its
decisions, or revoke or vary its orders,
in such circumstances as may be
determined in accordance with the
regulations; and
(q) for notification of the result of an
appeal or determination to be given to
such persons as may be prescribed.
(4) A person who without reasonable excuse fails
to comply with –
(a) a requirement imposed by the
regulations by virtue of subsection (3)
(f);
(b) a requirement in respect of the
discovery or inspection of documents
imposed by the regulations by virtue
of subsection (3) (h); or
(c) a requirement imposed by the
regulations by virtue of subsection
(3)(i),
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a
fine not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars.
(5) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from a
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52 Cap. 46:06 Protection of Children
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Power to
remove
difficulties

Liability for an
offence.

Applications to
be heard in
camera.
Appeals.

Regulations.

Protection of
Director and
authorised
officers.
Powers of the
Childcare and
decision of the Board.
58. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the
provisions of this Act, the Minister may, by order, make any
provision consistent with this Act that appears to be
necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty.
(2) Every order under subsection (1) shall be
subject to negative resolution of the National Assembly and
shall not be made after the expiry of three years from the
commencement of this Act.
59. Unless specifically stated otherwise, a person who
fails to comply with or otherwise contravenes a provision of
this Act or the regulations for which a penalty has not been
specifically provided commits an offence and is liable on
summary conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand
dollars or to a term of imprisonment of twelve months.
60. Hearing of applications made under this Act shall
be held in camera.
61. An appeal lies from a decision of a Court under
this Act to the Court of Appeal.
PART XI
MISCELLANEOUS
62. The Minister may make regulations to give effect
to the purpose of this Act and these regulations shall be
subject to negative resolution of the National Assembly.
63. The Director and duly authorised officers shall not
be personally liable for any acts done or omitted to be done in
the course of carrying out their functions under this Act.
64. Every administrative authority exercising any
function under this Act shall be under the supervision and
LAWS OF GUYANA
Protection of Children Cap. 46:06 53
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Protection
Agency.
c. 46:07
control of the Childcare and Protection Agency established by
section 3 of the Childcare and Protection Agency Act.
__________________

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