Children's Authority

Link to law: http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/Laws2/Alphabetical_List/lawspdfs/46.10.pdf

Childrens Auth.q
Current Authorised pages
Pages Authorised

(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–31 ..

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

L.R.O.

CHILDREN’S AUTHORITY ACT

CHApTER 46:10

Act

*64 of 2000

Amended by

8 of 2003

14 of 2008

* See Note on page 2

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Note on Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

Note on Act No. 64 of 2000

Commencement Date

Act No. 64 of 2000 which has been designated Ch. 46:10 has only been partially proclaimed

(See LN 187/2008). It has, however, been amended by Act No. 8 of 2003 [The Children’s

Authority (Amendment) Act, 2003] which changed the definition of Court to mean “the Court

with jurisdiction for family matters” and Act No. 14 of 2008 which made substantial changes

to Parts II and III.

In addition, Act No. 64 of 2000 contains references to other pieces of legislation, such as the

Children’s Community Residences, Foster Care and Nurseries Act, 2000 (No. 65 of 2000)

which up to the date of this Revision, i.e., 31st December 2009, had not yet been proclaimed.

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CHApTER 46:10

CHILDREN’S AUTHORITY ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

pART I

pRELImINARY

1. Short title.

2. Commencement.

3. Interpretation.

3A. Objects of the Act.

pART II

ESTABLISHmENT OF THE CHILDREN’S AUTHORITY

4. Establishment of the Children’s Authority.

5. Powers and functions of the Authority.

5A. Powers of Authority in relation to adoptions.

6. Duties of the Authority.

7. Board of Management.

7A. Adoption Committee.

8. Custody and use of Seal.

9. Service.

10. Appointment and responsibilities of the Director.

11. Composition of Authority.

12.

13.

14. Assessment and Support Centres and Reception Centres.

15. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

16. Staff of the Authority.

17. Transfer on secondment.

18. Transfer of public affairs to Authority.

19. Pension rights and schemes.

20. Employment of persons for specific tasks.

21. Authority subject to directions of the Minister.

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(Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).}

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pART III

CHILDREN IN NEED OF CARE AND pROTECTION

22. Power of the Authority to provide for children.

23. Wardship of children in the care of the Authority.

24. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

25. Powers of Court in respect of children in need of care and protection.

25A. Family Assistance Order.

25B. Secure Accommodation Order.

25C. Care Order.

25D. Child Assessment Order.

25E. Emergency Protection Order.

25F. Recovery Order.

25G. Fit Person Order.

25H. Recognisance Order.

25I. Foster Care Order.

25J. Order freeing a child for adoption.

26. Appointment of guardian ad litem.

27. Appointment of an Officer of the Civil Law Department.

28. Offence to assist runaway.

29. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

30. Children certifiable as mental patients.

31. Parents to inform the Authority of their whereabouts.

32. Leaving the country without making proper arrangements.

33. Powers of the Court with respect to offences in the Schedule.

pART Iv

CARE OF CHILDREN UNDER THE AUTHORITY

34. Provision of accommodation.

35. Provision of hostels for children who are over sixteen years.

35A. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

36. Power of the Authority to arrange for the emigration of children in

its care.

37. Disposal of deceased children.

38. Power of Authority to defray expenses of parents visiting children

or attending funerals.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS—Continued

SECTION

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pART v

mAINTENANCE OF CHILDREN IN CARE

39. Contribution in respect of children under the Authority.

40. Paternity Orders.

41. Contribution in respect of young offenders.

42. Parent to inform change of address.

43. Recovery and enforcement of Orders and contributions.

44. Contribution by the child.

45. Duration of Order.

pART vI

FINANCIAL pROvISIONS

46. Creation of the Fund.

47. Application of the Fund.

48. Rules for accounting and audit.

49. Annual Report.

pART vII

mISCELLANEOUS

50. Authority to make Regulations.

51. Rules Committee to make Rules.

SCHEDULE.

SECTION

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CHApTER 46:10

CHILDREN’S AUTHORITY ACT

An Act to establish a Children’s Authority of Trinidad
and Tobago to act as the guardian of the children of
Trinidad and Tobago.

[ASSENTED TO 2ND NOvEMBER 2000]

WHEREAS it is enacted by section 13(1) of the Constitution that an
Act of Parliament to which that section applies may expressly
declare that it shall have effect even though inconsistent with
sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution, and if any Act does so
declare it shall have effect accordingly:

And whereas it is provided in subsection (2) of the said section 13,
that an Act of Parliament to which that section applies is one the Bill
for which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and at the
final vote thereon in each House has been supported by the votes of
not less than three-fifths of all members of that House:

And whereas it is necessary and expedient that this Act shall
have effect even though inconsistent with sections 4 and 5 of the
Constitution:

pART I

pRELImINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Children’s Authority Act.

2. (1) This Act, except those sections referred to in
subsection (2), comes into operation on a day fixed by the
President by Proclamation.

(2) Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5(1)(h), 5A(d), 6(1)(e), 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 34, 35, 46, 48, 49, 50 and 51 came into
operation on 5th December 2008.

3. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Authority” means the Children’s Authority established under
section 4;

“child” means a person under the age of eighteen years;

64 of 2000.

Preamble.

Short title.

*Commencement.
[187/2008].

Interpretation.
[8 of 2003
14 of 2008].

* See Note on page 2.

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65 of 2000.

Ch. 13:06.

“child in need of care and protection” means a child referred to
in section 22(1);

“Children’s Home” has the meaning assigned to it by the
Children’s Community Residences, Foster Care and
Nurseries Act, 2000;

“Community Residence” means a Children’s Home or
Rehabilitation Centre licensed under the Children’s
Community Residences, Foster Care and Nurseries Act, 2000;

“Community Service” has the meaning assigned to it by the
Community Service Orders Act;

“Court” means the Court with jurisdiction for family matters;

“fit person” means a relative of the child or such other person,
including a body corporate, authority, agency or society
established for the reception of children and young persons
to whom this Act applies and who is found by the Court to
be a suitable person to care for the child;

“foster care” means the assuming of temporary care, maintenance
and parental obligations by an approved foster parent in
respect of a child under Part Iv of the Children’s Community
Residences, Foster Care and Nurseries Act, 2000;

“guardian” includes a person appointed by a will or by order of
a Court to be the guardian of a child, or who in the opinion
of the Court has the charge of or control over a child;

“imminent danger” means likelihood of physical, emotional,
mental or psychological harm;

“Minister” means the Minister with responsibility for the
Children’s Authority;

“rehabilitation centre” has the meaning assigned to it by the
Children’s Community Residences, Foster Care and
Nurseries Act, 2000;

“relative” includes—

(a) a parent;

(b) a step-parent;

(c) a grandparent;

(d) a brother or sister, whether of whole or half-
blood; or

(e) an uncle or aunt, whether of whole or half-blood;

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Objects of the
Act.
[14 of 2008].

Establishment
of the
Children’s
Authority.

Powers and
functions of the
Authority.
[14 of 2008].

67 of 2000.

65 of 2000.

“youthful offender” means a child who is charged with
committing an offence.

3A. The objects of this Act are to—

(a) promote the well being of all children in
Trinidad and Tobago;

(b) provide care and protection for vulnerable
children; and

(c) comply with certain obligations under the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

pART II

ESTABLISHmENT OF THE CHILDREN’S AUTHORITY

4. There is hereby established a body Corporate to be

known as the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago

(hereinafter referred to as “the Authority”).

5. (1) The Authority may have and exercise such powers
and functions as are conferred on it by this Act and in
particular may—

(a) provide care, protection and rehabilitation of
children in accordance with Part III of this Act;

(b) investigate and make recommendations with
respect to the adoption of children in accordance
with the Adoption of Children Act, 2000;

(c) investigate complaints made by any person with
respect to any child who is in the care of a
community residence, foster home or nursery, that
the said residence, home or nursery failed to
comply with the requisite standards prescribed
under the Children’s Community Residences,
Foster Care and Nurseries Act, 2000 and any
incident of mistreatment of children in such places;

(d) investigate complaints or reports of
mistreatment of children;

(e) upon investigation, remove a child from his
home where it is shown that the child is in
imminent danger;

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65 of 2000.

Powers of
Authority in
relation to
adoptions.
[14 of 2008].

(f) monitor community residences, foster homes
and nurseries and conduct periodic reviews to
determine their compliance with such
requirements as may be prescribed;

(g) issue, suspend and revoke licences of
community residences and nurseries as provided
under the Children’s Community Residences,
Foster Care and Nurseries Act, 2000;

(h) advise the Minister on matters relating to the
operation of this Act; and

(i) do all such things as may be necessary or
expedient for the proper performance of its duties.

(2) In the course of exercising its powers under
subsection (1), the Authority may provide the following services
to children assessed by the Authority to be in need of those
services while they are living with their families:

(a) advice, guidance and counselling;

(b) occupational, social, cultural or recreational
activities;

(c) home help; and

(d) facilities for or assistance with travelling to and
from home for the purpose of accessing any
other service provided by the Authority or any
similar service.

5A. In exercising its powers in relation to the adoption of
children, the Authority shall—

(a) receive applications from parents, guardians and
prospective adopters in respect of the adoption
of children;

(b) make such investigations concerning the
adoption of children for the consideration of the
Court as may be prescribed;

(c) make recommendations to the Court as to
whether in its view the adoption is in the best
interest of the child whose adoption is sought;

(d) advise the Minister regarding adoption matters

generally; and

(e) listen to the views of the child.

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6. (1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to—

(a) promote the well being of the child;

(b) recognise and give effect to the right of the
parent to be heard and the right of the parent to
a fair hearing;

(c) act as an advocate to promote the rights of all
children in Trinidad and Tobago;

(d) take all reasonable steps to ensure the
availability of accommodation necessary for
compliance with this Act;

(e) take all reasonable steps to ensure the
availability of staff required for proper
implementation of the Act, inclusive of
programmes for training;

(f) take all reasonable steps to prevent children
from suffering ill-treatment or neglect;

(g) promote contact between the child and—

(i) his parents;

(ii) any person who is not his parent but who
has parental responsibility for him; or

(iii) any relative, friend or other person
connected with him,

except where it is not reasonably practicable or is prejudicial to
the welfare of the child;

(h) exercise such powers as are conferred on it by this
Act and as may be necessary with respect to any
child so as to serve the best interests of that child;

(i) make use of such facilities and services
available for children that are provided by other
agencies or institutions, as appears reasonably
necessary to the Authority.

(2) When determining what is in the best interest of a
child, the Authority shall take into consideration—

(a) the love, affection, and other emotional ties
existing between the parties involved and
the child;

Duties of the
Authority.
[14 of 2008].

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(b) the capacity and disposition of the parties
involved to—

(i) give the child love, affection and
guidance and to continue the education
and raising of the child in his or her
religion, if any; and

(ii) provide the child with food, clothing,
medical care or other remedial care;

(c) the length of time the child has lived in a stable,
satisfactory environment, and the desirability of
maintaining the status quo;

(ca) where appropriate, preserving the family unit
and reuniting the child with his relatives at the
earliest opportunity;

(cb) the right of the child to the enjoyment of family life;

(cc) the right of the child to be heard;

(cd) the right of the child to representation and a fair
hearing; and

(ce) any other relevant support necessary for the well
being of the child;

(d) the permanence of the family unit;

(e) the home, school and community record of
the child;

(f) the willingness and ability of each parent to
facilitate and encourage a close parent-child
relationship between the child and the other
parent or the child and the parents;

(g) the willingness and ability of relatives to
facilitate and encourage familial relationships
between the child and other family members;

(h) domestic violence or any other form of abuse,
regardless of whether the violence was directed
against or witnessed by the child;

(i) the reasonable preference of the child, if the
Authority considers the child to be of an age and
maturity to express such preference; and

(j) any other factor that the Authority may consider
relevant to the particular child.

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7. (1) The Authority shall be managed by a Board of
Management (hereinafter referred to as the “Board”) which will
be in charge of the administration of the Act.

(2) The Board shall consist of no more than eleven
persons and no less than seven persons who shall be appointed by
the President and have the following professional qualifications
and skills:

(a) child psychology; or

(b) child psychiatry;

(c) social work;

(d) paediatrics;

(e) education;

(f) accounting; and

(g) family law.

(2A) The persons selected under subsection (1) shall include—

(a) a person under the age of twenty-five years
representing the youth appointed by the President;

(b) a person nominated by the Tobago House of
Assembly with experience in children’s issues
appointed by the President;

(c) the Director of the Authority appointed under
section 10 who shall be an ex officio member of
the Board; and

(d) a representative of a Non-Governmental
Organisation which promotes the welfare and
protection of children.

(3) The President shall appoint from among the persons
mentioned in subsection (2), one member to be the Chairman
of the Board.

(4) A member of the Board shall hold office for such
period as stated in his instrument of appointment and shall be
eligible for reappointment.

(5) The Board at its first meeting shall, subject to the
approval of the Minister, select from among its members a
Deputy Chairman.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

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Board of
Management.
[14 of 2008].

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(6) A member of the Board may at any time resign his
office by instrument in writing addressed to the Chairman, who
shall forthwith cause it to be forwarded to the Minister, and the
Chairman may resign his office by instrument in writing
addressed to the Minister.

(7) The President may terminate the appointment of a
member of the Board where the member—

(a) is of unsound mind or is incapable of carrying
on his duties;

(b) becomes bankrupt or compounds with his creditors;

(c) is convicted of any offence which brings his
office into disrepute;

(d) is guilty of misconduct in relation to his duties;

(e) is absent, except on leave granted by the Board,
during three consecutive, duly constituted
meetings of the Board; or

(f) fails to carry out any of the duties or functions
conferred on or assigned to him under this Act.

(8) The names of the members of the Board as
constituted under this Act and every change thereof, shall be
published in the Gazette.

(9) The Board may meet as often as required, but shall
meet at least once a month.

(10) The quorum for a meeting of the Board shall be
five inclusive of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman.

(10A) Where a decision is to be made by the Board and
the number of members sitting to vote is even, the Chairman shall
have a casting vote.

(10B) Where members are temporarily unable to
perform their duties, the President may appoint other persons to
act in their stead.

(11) The Board may by way of rules or resolutions
regulate its own procedure for the conduct of its business.

7A. (1) Where a decision with respect to the adoption of a
child arises, a committee of the Board to be known as the
Adoption Committee shall sit to take such decision.

Adoption
Committee.
[14 of 2008].

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(2) The Adoption Committee shall consist of persons
who have the following professional qualifications and skills:

(a) paediatrics;

(b) law;

(c) child psychology or child psychiatry; and

(d) social work.

(2A) The following persons shall also be members of
the Committee:

(a) a person nominated by the Tobago House of
Assembly with experience in children’s issues
appointed by the President;

(b) the representative of the Non-Governmental
Organisation; and

(c) the head of the Adoption Unit.

(3) Where the Adoption Committee makes a decision in
respect of the adoption of a child such decision shall be ratified
by the Board.

(4) The Adoption Committee shall elect one of their
number to be the Chairman of the Committee.

(5) The Adoption Committee may regulate its own
procedure.

8. (1) The Authority shall have a Seal which shall be kept
in the custody of the Director.

(2) The Seal of the Authority shall be affixed to an
instrument by the Director or the Secretary.

(3) All documents, other than those required by law
to be under seal, and all decisions of the Authority may be
signified under the hand of the Director, Secretary or such other
persons authorised to do so by the Board.

9. Service upon the Authority of any Notice, Order or
other document shall be effected by delivering the same, or by
sending it by registered post addressed to the Director, at the
office of the Authority.

10. (1) Subject to section 7, the Board shall appoint a
Director who shall be responsible for the day-to-day functions of

Custody and use
of Seal.
[14 of 2008].

Service.
[14 of 2008].

Appointment and
responsibilities
of the Director.
[14 of 2008].

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the Authority who shall also be the co-ordinator of all the units
created in section 11.

(1A) The Board shall appoint at least one Deputy
Director who shall assist the Director with the day-to-day
functions of the Authority.

(1B) The Board shall appoint a Secretary on such terms
and conditions as it thinks fit.

(2) The Board may delegate any of its functions to
the Director or to the Deputy Director.

11. For the effective management of its duties and functions,
the Authority shall have such units and centres including an
Adoption Unit and a Foster Care Unit as may be prescribed by
the Minister on the advice of the Board.

12.

13.

14. (1) The Authority shall maintain Assessment and
Support Centres and Reception Centres.

(2) An Assessment and Support Centre shall be
responsible for—

(a) the initial assessment and referral of children
coming to the attention of the Authority; and

(b) where necessary, shall liaise with support services
and agencies for counselling, investigations and
continued management of cases,

and shall be staffed with social workers with experience in
children’s issues.

(3) A Reception Centre shall be responsible for the
temporary care of children received by the Authority.

(4) A Reception Centre shall have available to them
qualified social workers, a child psychologist, medical and other
qualified personnel, including a child psychiatrist who shall—

(a) carry out initial medical examinations, diagnostic
assessments and formulate treatment plans;

} (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

Composition of
Authority.
[14 of 2008].

Assessment and
Support Centres
and Reception
Centres.
[14 of 2008].

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(b) make recommendations to the Board on the
child’s placement; and

(c) implement plans in respect of any child in the
care of a Reception Centre.

(4A) The Authority may also make other arrangements
for the availability of such qualified personnel as it may need
from time to time.

(5) A Reception Centre may source any support
services it may require with respect to any child referred by the
Intake Centre.

(6) A child received by the Authority shall not remain
in a Reception Centre for a period exceeding twelve weeks.

15. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

16. The Authority shall appoint on such terms and conditions
as it thinks fit and subject to such maximum limits of
remuneration as the Minister may determine, such staff as it
considers necessary for the efficient exercise and performance of
its functions under this Act.

17. (1) Subject to subsection (2) and to the approval of the
Authority, the appropriate Service Commission and the officer,
any officer in the public service may be on secondment to the
service of the Authority or from the service of the Authority to the
public service.

(2) Where secondment referred to in subsection (1) is
effected, arrangements shall be made to preserve the rights of the
officers seconded to any pension, gratuity or other allowance for
which he would have been eligible had he not been seconded.

(3) A period of secondment shall be for three years and
may only be extended once for a further period of up to two years.

18. An officer in the public service may with the approval of
the appropriate Service Commission consent to be transferred to
the service of the Authority.

19. (1) The Authority shall provide for the establishment
and maintenance of a pension plan or arrange for membership in
a plan for its employees.

Staff of the
Authority.

Transfer on
secondment.
[14 of 2008].

Transfer of
public affairs to
Authority.
[14 of 2008].

Pension rights
and schemes.
[14 of 2008].

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(2) A member of the public service who transfers to the
Authority shall become a member of any pension plan operated
for the benefit of employees of the Authority.

(3) Superannuation benefits which have accrued to any
person who was transferred from the public service to the Authority
under section 18, shall be preserved at the date of his transfer to the
Authority and such person shall continue to accrue such benefits
under the relevant pensions legislation up to the date—

(a) of the establishment of a pension plan under this
section; or

(b) that arrangements are made for membership in
a plan.

(4) Superannuation benefits accrued under subsection (3)
shall be calculated on the basis of pay, pensionable emoluments or
salary applicable to the office which the person held immediately
prior to his employment by the Authority.

(5) Where a person who transferred from the public
service to the Authority dies or retires before—

(a) the establishment of a pension plan under this
section; or

(b) arrangements could be made for membership in
a plan,

and at the date of his death or retirement was in receipt of a salary
higher than the pay, pensionable emoluments or salary applicable
to the office which he held immediately prior to his employment
by the Authority, the difference in superannuation benefits
payable on the basis of the higher salary and those payable under
the relevant pension legislation on the basis of the salary referred
to in subsection (4) shall be paid by the Authority.

(6) Where a person who transferred from the public
service to the Authority dies or retires while being a member of
any pension plan—

(a) established by the Authority under this section; or

(b) in respect of which arrangements have been
made for membership,

he shall be paid superannuation benefits at the amount which
when combined with the superannuation benefits payable under

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subsection (3) is the equivalent to the benefits based on his
pensionable service in the public service combined with his
service in the Authority and calculated at the pensionable salary
applicable to him on the date of his retirement or death.

20. The Authority may employ, on such terms and conditions

as it thinks fit and subject to such maximum limits of

remuneration as the Minister may determine, persons to perform

specific tasks that the Authority considers necessary for the due

performance of its functions under this Act.

21. The Minister may give in writing, general or special

directions to the Board, on policy matters, in the exercise of its

duties and powers under the Act which the Authority shall follow.

pART III

CHILDREN IN NEED OF CARE AND pROTECTION

22. (1) Where the Authority is of the view that a child is in
need of care and protection and that its intervention is necessary
in the best interest of the child, it shall investigate the matter and
it shall be lawful where appropriate, for the Authority to receive
the child into its care.

(1A) A child is in need of care and protection where
the child—

(a) has neither parent nor guardian who is fit to
exercise care and guardianship;

(b) is lost or has been and remains abandoned by his
parent or guardian;

(c) whose parent or guardian is prevented by—

(i) reason of mental or bodily disease;

(ii) infirmity or other incapacity; or

(iii) any other circumstances,

from providing for his up-bringing, and there
is no available person or persons capable, fit
or willing to undertake the care of such child;

(d) is exposed to moral danger;

(e) is beyond the control of his parent or guardian;

Employment of
persons for
specific tasks.

Authority
subject to
directions of the
Minister.
[14 of 2008].

Power of the
Authority to
provide for
children.
[14 of 2008].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 19

Wardship of
children in the
care of the
Authority.
[14 of 2008].

Ch. 46:08.

(f) is ill-treated or neglected in a manner likely to
cause him suffering or injury to health;

(g) is destitute or is wandering without any settled
place of abode and without visible means of
subsistence;

(h) is begging or receiving alms;

(i) is found loitering for the purpose of begging or
receiving alms;

(j) frequents the company of any criminal; or

(k) frequents the company of any common or reputed
prostitute not being the mother of the child.

(2) A police officer or any other person having

reasonable grounds for believing that a child is in need of care or

protection may seek the assistance of the Authority for care or

protection of such child.

(3) In this section a child is deemed to be abandoned

where he has no parent or other person willing and able to take

care of him.

23. (1) Where the Authority receives a child into its care

under section 22, it shall immediately make an application to the

Court for—

(a) a Wardship Order under the Family Law
(Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and
Maintenance) Act to be made in respect of the
child and any other Order; or

(b) an Order including an interim Order under
section 25 that the Authority determines
necessary.

(2) Where the Authority makes an application for a

Wardship Order in pursuance of subsection (1), the Authority

shall join the parent or guardian of the child in the application.

(3) An application for an interim Order under subsection (1)

may be made ex parte.

24. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

20 Chap. 46:10 Children’s Authority

25. Where the Court is satisfied that a child brought before it

by the Authority is a child in need of care and protection, the

Court may make the following:

(a) a Family Assistance Order;

(b) a Secure Accommodation Order;

(c) a Care Order;

(d) a Child Assessment Order;

(e) an Emergency Protection Order;

(f) a Recovery Order;

(g) a Fit Person Order under the Children Act;

(h) a Recognisance Order;

(i) a Foster Care Order;

(j) an Order freeing a child for adoption;

(k) a Contribution Order under section 44; or

(l) any other Order including an interim Order as
the Court thinks fit.

25A. A Family Assistance Order made under section 25(a)
shall be for the purpose of counselling and any other relevant
assistance deemed necessary for the well being of the child.

25B. A Secure Accommodation Order made under section 25(b)
shall be for the purpose of restricting the liberty of the child where
it appears to the Court that the child has a history of absconding
and is likely to abscond from another type of accommodation
where the child is likely to—

(a) suffer significant harm if he absconds; or

(b) injure himself or other persons if he is kept in
any other kind of accommodation.

25C. (1) A Care Order made under section 25(c) shall be for
the purpose of placing a child under the care of the Authority or
a community residence.

(2) A Care Order under this section may be made on the
application of the Authority, a probation officer or an officer of
the National Family Services Division of the Ministry with
responsibility for the delivery of social services.

Powers of
Court in
respect of
children in
need of care
and protection.
[14 of 2008].

Ch. 46:01.

Family
Assistance
Order.
[14 of 2008].

Secure
Accommodation
Order.
[14 of 2008].

Care Order.
[14 of 2008].

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 21

25D. (1) A Child Assessment Order made under section 25(d)
shall be for the purpose of assessing—

(a) the state of a child’s health;

(b) the child’s development; or

(c) the manner in which the child has been treated.

(2) The Court may make a Child Assessment Order
where it is satisfied that—

(a) the applicant has reasonable cause to suspect that
the child is suffering or is likely to suffer physical,
emotional, mental or psychological harm;

(b) such an assessment is required to enable the
applicant to determine whether or not the child
is suffering or is likely to suffer harm; and

(c) it will be unlikely that an assessment will be made
or be satisfactory in the absence of the Order.

(3) A Child Assessment Order—

(a) shall specify the period of assessment and the
date on which the assessment is to begin; and

(b) may require the medical, psychiatric and
psychological examination of the child.

(4) Where a Child Assessment Order states that a child
shall be kept away from his home, it shall specify the conditions
under which the child may be so kept, including the degree of
contact with other persons that he may be allowed during that period.

(5) Where the Court makes a Child Assessment Order,
the person who is in de facto control of the child or who is in a
position to produce the child, shall comply with any direction in
the Order and produce the child to the person named in the Order.

25E. (1) An Emergency Protection Order under section 25(e)
shall be made where the Court is of the view that—

(a) the child is likely to suffer physical, emotional,
mental or psychological harm;

(b) enquiries as to whether the child is suffering or is
likely to suffer physical, emotional, mental or
psychological harm are being frustrated by access
to the child being unreasonably refused and the

Child
Assessment
Order.
[14 of 2008].

Emergency
Protection
Order.
[14 of 2008].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

22 Chap. 46:10 Children’s Authority

applicant has reason to believe that access to the
child is required as a matter of urgency.

(2) An Emergency Protection Order may—

(a) direct a person named in the Order and who
is in de facto control of the child or who is in
a position to do so, to produce the child to
the applicant;

(b) authorise the removal of a child from any place
or the detention of a child at a community
residence at any time;

(c) prohibit the removal of the child from any place
at which he was being accommodated
immediately before the Order was made;

(d) give the applicant parental responsibility for the
child;

(e) limit the applicant to the exercise only of those
powers which are specified in the Order;

(f) determine the contact which is or is not allowed
with any named person; and

(g) require the medical, psychiatric and
psychological examination of the child.

25F. (1) A Recovery Order under section 25(f) may be made
where it appears to the Court that there is reason to believe that
a child—

(a) has been unlawfully taken or is being
unlawfully taken away from the person who has
parental care and responsibility for the child;

(b) has run away or is staying away from the person
who has parental care and responsibility for
him; or

(c) is missing.

(2) A Recovery Order shall—

(a) direct any person who is in a position to do so,
to produce the child on request to—

(i) any person specified in the Order;

Recovery
Order.
[14 of 2008].

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UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 23

(ii) a police officer; or

(iii) any other person who is authorised by the

parent or any person in whose favour a

Care Order or an Emergency Protection

Order is made, after the Recovery Order

is made;

(b) authorise the removal of the child by any of the

persons under paragraph (a), or

(c) authorise a police officer to enter premises

specified in the Order to search for the child,

using reasonable force if necessary.

25G. A Fit Person Order made under section 25(g) shall be an

Order under the Children Act directing a child to be put in the

care of a fit person.

25H. A Recognisance Order made under section 25(h) shall

direct the parent or guardian of a child to enter into recognisance

to exercise proper care and guardianship over the child.

25I. A Foster Care Order made under section 25(i) would direct

the foster care unit under the Children’s Community Residences,

Foster Care and Nurseries Act, 2000 to place the child in foster care.

25J. An Order freeing a child for adoption made under

section 25(j) shall make the child available for adoption under

the Adoption of Children Act, 2000.

26. Where in a matter before the Court under this Act, a child

is before the Court, it may, where it considers it necessary,

appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the views of the child and

act in his interest.

27. Where in a matter before the Court under this Act, a child

is before the Court, it may, where it considers it necessary, make

an order requesting the Attorney General to assign the

appropriate officer from the Civil Law Department to represent

any child before the Court.

Fit Person
Order.
[14 of 2008].
Ch. 46:01.

Recognisance
Order.
[14 of 2008].

Foster Care
Order.
[14 of 2008].

65 of 2000.

Order freeing a
child for
adoption.
[14 of 2008].
67 of 2000.

Appointment of
guardian
ad litem.
[14 of 2008].

Appointment of
an Officer of
the Civil Law
Department.
[14 of 2008].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

24 Chap. 46:10 Children’s Authority

28. Any person who knowingly—

(a) (Deleted by Act No. 14 of 2008);

(b) assists or induces or attempts to induce a child,
to whom sections 22, 23 and 25 applies, to run
away from the care of the Authority; or

(c) harbours or conceals a child who has run away
from the care of the Authority,

commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to
imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty-five years.

29. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

30. (1) Where a child has been received into the care of the
Authority and subsequently that child is determined to be
mentally ill under the Mental Health Act, and such determination
results in the admission of the child to a psychiatric hospital, if
there is no one willing and able to assume responsibility for the
child, the Authority shall continue to exercise responsibility and
rights in respect of that child notwithstanding the fact that the
Authority does not have physical control of the child.

(2) Where a child mentioned under subsection (1) is
under the care of a psychiatric hospital, the Director of the
psychiatric hospital shall submit to the Authority, periodical
reports of the child’s mental status.

31. (1) The parent or guardian of a child in the care of the
Authority shall ensure that the Authority is kept informed of the
whereabouts of the parent or guardian.

(1A) The Authority shall keep and maintain a record of

the names, addresses and other pertinent information of all parents

or guardians of children who have been received into care.

(2) A parent or guardian who knowingly fails to comply

with subsection (1), commits an offence and on summary

conviction shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars.

32. Where the Authority is of the view that a person legally
liable for the care and maintenance of any child, intends to leave

Offence to
assist runaway.
[14 of 2008].

Children
certifiable as
mental patients.
[14 of 2008].
Ch. 28:02.

Parents to
inform the
Authority of
their
whereabouts.
[14 of 2008].

Leaving the
country without
making proper
arrangements.
[14 of 2008].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 25

Trinidad and Tobago without making adequate arrangements for
the care of the child, it may apply to the Court for an Order to
prevent the person from leaving Trinidad and Tobago until such
person has made provision to the satisfaction of the Court that—

(a) the child is not likely to become a charge on the
public funds; or

(b) such child is not exposed to moral danger or
neglect by reason of lack of care and
maintenance.

33. (1) A Court with criminal jurisdiction before which a
person is charged with having committed an offence in
respect of a child mentioned in the Schedule or any offence
under this Act, may direct that the child be brought to the
attention of the Authority.

(2) The Minister may by Order, amend the Schedule.

pART Iv

CARE OF CHILDREN UNDER THE AUTHORITY

34. (1) The Authority may support or provide, equip and
maintain community residences for the accommodation of
children in its care.

(2) The Authority may discharge its functions under
this section by making arrangements with private bodies for
the accommodation of children in its care as provided for under
the Children’s Community Residences, Foster Care and
Nurseries Act, 2000.

35. (1) The Authority shall ensure that children who are
over sixteen years and who have no other place to reside, be
accommodated in hostels near the place, as far as possible, where
they may be employed, or seeking employment or receiving
education or training.

(2) In this Part “hostel” means a voluntary residence for
persons up to the age of twenty-one, on payment of a fee.

(3) The Authority may defray the cost of accommodation
referred to in subsection (1).

Powers of the
Court with
respect to
offences in the
Schedule.
[14 of 2008].

Provision of
accommodation.
[14 of 2008].

65 of 2000.

Provision of
hostels for
children who
are over sixteen
years.
[14 of 2008].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

26 Chap. 46:10 Children’s Authority

35A. (Repealed by Act No. 14 of 2008).

36. (1) The Authority may, with the permission of the Court,

assist in the emigration of any child in its care.

(2) The Court shall not give its permission under this
section unless it is satisfied that—

(a) emigration would be in the best interest of the child;

(b) suitable arrangements have been or will be
made for the child’s reception and the necessary
legal requirements for the immigration of the
child in the destination country are met;

(c) proper arrangements for the child’s welfare in
the country to which he is going have been made;

(d) the parents or guardians of the child have been
consulted; and

(e) the wishes of the child have been taken into
account.

(3) (Deleted by Act No. 14 of 2008).

37. (1) Where a child who is under the care of the Authority,

has been placed in a community residence or foster home and that

child dies while resident at such place, the Manager of the

community residence or foster parent shall inform the Authority

forthwith of the child’s death.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Authority—

(a) to immediately inform the parents and relatives
of the deceased child of that child’s death;

(b) where the parents or relatives of the deceased
child wish to bury the child, to release the

child’s body to them for burial; and

(c) where no such wish referred to in paragraph (b)
is expressed, to dispose of the body of any

deceased child who immediately before his

death was in the care of the Authority, in

accordance with the Burial Grounds Act and

Cremation Act.

Power of the
Authority to
arrange for the
emigration of
children in its
care.
[14 of 2008].

Disposal of
deceased
children.
[14 of 2008].

Ch. 30:50.
Ch. 30:51.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 27

(3) (Deleted by Act No. 14 of 2008).

38. The Authority may, if it deems fit, make payments to any

parent or guardian or other persons, concerned with a child in its

care in respect of travelling, subsistence or other expenses

incurred by the parent, guardian or other person in visiting the

child or attending his funeral.

pART v

mAINTENANCE OF CHILDREN IN CARE

39. (1) The Authority may arrange with the parents or the

guardian of a child for a contribution according to their means

towards the maintenance of the child who is in the care of

the Authority.

(2) Where an agreement cannot be reached in

accordance with subsection (1), the Authority may apply to the

Court for an Order for the maintenance of the child, having

regard to the means of the parent or guardian.

(3) Where a person, other than the parent, is liable to

maintain a child, an Order under this section may be made

against that person.

(4) An Order made under this section may, on

application being made either by the person on whom the Order

is made or by or at the instance of the Authority and on fourteen

days notice of such application being given to the Authority or

person on whom the Order was made, be varied by the Court.

40. (1) A Court may, upon the hearing of an application

under section 39 against any person in respect of the maintenance

of any child, if it is alleged that he is the father of such child, make

a paternity Order against him in accordance with section 22 of the

Family Law (Guardianship of Minors, Domicile and

Maintenance) Act and the Status of Children Act.

(2) In making an order under section 39 the Court may

direct that any amount payable under that Act, shall in the future

be paid into the Authority.

Power of
Authority to
defray expenses
of parents
visiting children
or attending
funerals.

Contribution in
respect of
children under
the Authority.
[14 of 2008].

Paternity
Orders.
[14 of 2008].

Ch. 46:08.
Ch. 46:07.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

28 Chap. 46:10 Children’s Authority

41. (1) The Court may, on complaint being made by the
Authority, at any time whilst a youthful offender is detained in a
rehabilitation centre make an Order against a parent or any other
person who has care and control over the youthful offender for
the payment to the Authority of such weekly or monthly sum
during the whole or any part of the time for which the youthful
offender or child is kept.

(2) (Deleted by Act No. 14 of 2008).

(3) An Order made under this section may, on
application being made either by the person against whom the
Order is made or by or at the instance of the Authority and on
fourteen days notice of such application being given to the
Authority or person against whom the Order was made, be varied
by the Court.

42. Where a parent or other person has been ordered to
contribute to the maintenance of a child, he shall give notice of any
change of address to the Authority and a person who fails to do so
without reasonable excuse commits an offence and on summary
conviction shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars.

43. (1) A Court making an Order for a contribution by a
parent or any other person may, in the case where there is any
pension or income payable to such parent or other person
capable of being attached, after giving such parent or person an
opportunity of being heard, order that such part of the pension or
income, as the Court may see fit, be attached and be paid to the
person named by the Court in accordance with the Attachment
of Earnings (Maintenance) Act.

(2)

(3)

44. A child under the care of the Authority who has attained
the age of sixteen years and is engaged in remunerative work
shall be liable to make contributions to the Authority in respect
of himself and where no agreement can be reached or where an
agreement is not being complied with, the Court may order the
payments (hereinafter referred to as a Contribution Order) of an
appropriate amount by him according to his means.

Contribution in
respect of young
offenders.
[14 of 2008].

Parent to inform
change of
address.

Recovery and
enforcement of
Orders and
contributions.
[14 of 2008].

14 of 1988.

Contribution by
the child.
[14 of 2008].

(Deleted by Act No. 14 of 2008).}

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 29

Duration of
Order.

Creation of the
Fund.
[14 of 2008].

Application of
the Fund.

Rules for
accounting and
audit.

45. A Contribution Order made under this Part shall remain
in force as long as the child is in the care of the Authority but a
person may at any time apply to the Court for the Order to be
varied or discharged.

pART vI

FINANCIAL pROvISIONS

46. (1) There is hereby established a Fund called the
Children Authority Fund.

(2) The revenue of the Fund shall be—

(a) money allocated to the Authority by Parliament;

(b) grants, donations and assistance received from
national and international organisations and
agencies as approved by the Minister of
Finance; and

(c) monies and fees received under the Act.

47. (1) The monies in the Fund shall be utilised for
defraying the following expenses:

(a) administration of the Act;

(b) remuneration and allowances for the members
of the Board;

(c) payment of salaries and allowances for the
members of the staff; and

(d) any other expenditure authorised by the Board

for the exercise of its powers.

(2) The accounts of the Authority shall be maintained in

accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles.

48. (1) The Board shall prescribe Rules for the proper

control of the system of accounting and the financial

management of the Authority including provision for an

adequate system of internal auditing.

(2) The accounts of the Authority shall be audited

annually by the Auditor General or by a qualified auditor

appointed by the Auditor General.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

30 Chap. 46:10 Children’s Authority

49. (1) The Board shall within three months of the end of
each financial year submit to the Minister an annual report dealing
with the activities of the Authority during the financial year,
together with financial statements and such other information
relating to the operations and functions of the Authority.

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report and the
financial statements and such other information submitted under
subsection (1) to be laid before Parliament within twenty-eight
days of its receipt by him.

pART vII

mISCELLANEOUS

50. (1) The Authority may, with the approval of the
Minister, make Regulations in respect of—

(a) the burial of children in the care of the
Authority; and

(b) matters which are required to be prescribed
under this Act and for the purpose of giving
effect to the provisions of the Act.

(2) Regulations made under this Act shall be subject to
affirmative resolution of Parliament.

(3) The Minister may also prescribe the forms to be

used for the purposes of this Act and all such forms so prescribed

shall be published in the Gazette.

51. The Rules Committee established by section 77 of the

Supreme Court of Judicature Act may, subject to negative

resolution of Parliament, make rules for the purpose of the Court

exercising its functions under this Act.

Annual Report.

Authority to
make
Regulations.
[14 of 2008].

Rules
Committee to
make Rules.
[14 of 2008].
Ch. 4:01.

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Children’s Authority Chap. 46:10 31

SCHEDULE

Legislation Section

The Summary Offences Act, Chap. 11:02 4, 5

The Offences Against the Person Act, Chap. 11:08 6, 21, 48, 54

Children Act, Chap. 46:01 3 to 8, 24 to 28

Sexual Offences Act, Chap. 11:28. 4 to 11

(Section 33).

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