1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Objects of Act


Care and Protection of Children

   4   Representation by Children's Advocate

   5   Establishment of Children's Register

   6   Duty to report need for care and protection

   7   Assessment and investigation of reports to registry

   8   Circumstances in which a child is in need of care and protection

   9   Cruelty to children

   10   Prohibition against trafficking or sale of children

   11   Warrant to search for and remove child

   12   Detention of child in place of safety

   13   Power to bring child needing care or protection before court

   14   Powers of Court

   15   Power to take offender into custody

   16   Mode of charging offences and limitation of time

   17   Power to hear case in absence of child

   18   Extension of power to take deposition of child

   19   Admission in evidence of deposition of child

   20   Evidence of child of tender years

   21   Order to submit to medical examination

   22   Disease testing of convicted offender

   23   Disposal of case by order of court

   24   Power of parent or guardian to bring child before court


General Provisions for Care and Protection of Children

   25   Interpretation for Part II

   26   Responsibilities of fit persons

   27   Duty to provide care for child

   28   Duty to secure education of child

   29   Contributions

   30   Contribution orders

   31   Provisions as to affiliation order

   32   Reference in section 30 or 31 to court for Kingston and Saint Andrew is to Family Court

   33   Restriction on employment or of child under thirteen

   34   Restriction on employment of child over thirteen

   35   Exception for artistic performances

   36   Responsibility for contravention of sections 33 and 14

   37   Search warrant

   38   Saving

   39   Prohibition on employment in nightclubs, etc

   40   Prohibition of sale of intoxicating liquor or tobacco products to child

   41   Begging

   42   Restriction on presence of child in court

   43   Power to clear court when child in court

   44   Power to prohibit publication of certain matters

   45   Restriction on newspaper reports of proceedings in Children's Court


Children in Care

   46   Interpretation of Part III

   47   Licence to operate children's home

   48   Application for licence

   49   Power of Minister in respect of licences

   50   Appeals

   51   Responsibility of licensees

   52   Notification of reception of child

   53   Removal or death of child

   54   Power to visit and inspect homes

   55   Warrant to visit and inspect

   56   Control over licensed homes

   57   Order to remove child from home

   58   Escape from fit person

   59   Transfer of persons under care of fit persons

   60   Emigration, etc of children

   61   Rules relating to fit persons

   62   Rights of child in places of safety, etc


Children Detained or Brought before a Court

   63   Age of criminal responsibility

   64   Determination of age

   65   General considerations for guidance of courts

   66   Separation of children from adults

   67   Bail or detention of child

   68   Remand or committal to juvenile remand centre

   69   Attendance at court by parent of child charged with an offence, etc

   70   Notice to appropriate officers of charges against child

   71   Constitution of, procedure in, and appeal from, Children's Courts

   72   Jurisdiction of Children's Court

   73   Provisions as to powers of Children's Court

   74   Court other than Children's Court to have powers of Children's Court

   75   Power of other courts to remit child offenders to Children's Court

   76   Methods of dealing with child offenders

   77   Enforcement of recognizance

   78   Restriction on punishment

   79   Restriction on committal to juvenile correctional centre

   80   Special provisions relating to probation

   81   Provisions relating to committal to child correctional centre

   82   Provisions relating to committal to fit person

   83   No committal to centre which has ceased to be a juvenile correctional centre

   84   Steps to be taken by Minister on receipt of fit person order


Administration and Enforcement

   85   Establishment of Council

   86   General duty of the Council to advise the Minister

   87   Proceedings by Minister

   88   Miscellaneous offences

   89   General penalty

   90   Forms

   91   Regulations

   92   Protection from liability

   93   Power of Minister to amend Act

   94   Amendments to other Acts

   95   Transitional provisions

   96   Repeal of Juveniles Act




[Date of Commencement: 26th March, 2004]

11 of 2004,
12 of 2009.

Preliminary (sections 1-3)

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Child Care and Protection Act.

2   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act-

   ''adult" means a person who has attained the age of eighteen years;

   ''adult correctional centre" has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Corrections Act;

   "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years;

   "Children's Advocate" means the office of Children's Advocate constituted under section 4;

   "Children's Court" means any Children's Court established in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

   "children's home" means any institution, dwelling-house or other place where four or more children are boarded and maintained other than by a parent or lawful guardian, either gratuitously or for reward;

   "children's officer'' means a public officer designated by the Minister to be a children's officer for the purposes of this Act;

   "contribution order" means an order made by a court under section 30 requiring any person to make contributions in respect of any child committed to the care of a fit person or to a juvenile correctional centre;

   "correctional order" means an order made by a court sending a child to a juvenile correctional centre;

   "the Council" means the Advisory Council established under this Act;

   "fit person" means the Minister, and any person or body, whether corporate or unincorporate, designated by the Minister;

   "fit person order" means an order committing a child to the care of a fit person;

   "guardian", in relation to a child, includes any person who, in the opinion of the court having cognizance of any case in relation to the child or in which the child is concerned, has for the time being the charge of or control over the child;

   "intoxicating liquor" means any fermented, distilled or spirituous liquor which cannot, save in certain specified circumstances, according to any enactment for the time being in force, be legally sold without a licence;

   "juvenile correctional centre" has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Corrections Act;

   "juvenile remand centre" has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Corrections Act;

   "place of safety" means any place appointed by the Minister to be a place of safety for the purposes of this Act;

   "probation and after-care officer" has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Corrections Act;

   "Registry" means the Children's Registry established under section 5.

   (2) Where there is a reference in this Act to the best interests of a child, the factors to be taken into account in determining the child's best interests shall include-

   (a)   the safety of the child;

   (b)   the child's physical and emotional needs and level of development;

   (c)   the importance of continuity in the child's care;

   (d)   the quality of the relationship the child has with a parent or other person and the effect of maintaining that relationship;

   (e)   the child's religious and spiritual views;

   (f)   the child's level of education and educational requirements;

   (g)   whether the child is of sufficient age and maturity so as to be capable of forming his or her own views and, if so, those views are to be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child;

   (h)   the effect on the child of a delay in making a decision.

   (3) This Act shall be interpreted and administered so that the best interests of the child is the paramount consideration and in accordance with the following principles-

   (a)   children are entitled to be protected from abuse, neglect and harm or threat of harm;

   (b)   a family is the preferred environment for the care and upbringing of children and the responsibility for the protection of children rests primarily with the parents;

   (c)   if, with available support services, a family can provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child, support services should be provided;

   (d)   where the child is of sufficient age and maturity so as to be capable of forming his or her own views, those views should be taken into account when decisions relating to the child are made;

   (e)   kinship ties and the child's attachment to the extended family should be preserved if possible; and

   (f)   decisions relating to children should be made and implemented in a timely manner.

   (4) For the purposes of this Part-

   (a)   any person who is the parent or legal guardian of a child, or who is legally liable to maintain the child, shall be presumed to have the custody of the child, and as between father and mother, neither shall be deemed to have ceased to have such custody by reason only that the father or mother has deserted, or otherwise does not reside with, the other parent and the child;

   (b)   any person to whose charge a child is committed by any other person who has the custody of the child shall be presumed to have charge of that child;

   (c)   any other person having actual possession or control of a child shall be presumed to have the care of the child.

3   Objects of Act

   The objects of this Act are-

   (a)   to promote the best interests, safety and well being of children;

   (b)   to recognise that-

         (i)   while parents often need help in caring for children, help should give support to the autonomy and integrity of the family unit and wherever possible, be provided on the basis of mutual consent;

         (ii)   the least restrictive or disruptive course of action that is available and appropriate in a particular case to help a child should be followed;

   (c)   to recognise that child services should be provided in a manner that-

         (i)   respects the child's need for continuity of care and for stable family relationships; and

         (ii)   takes into account physical and mental differences among children in their development;

   (d)   to recognise the special needs of children in conflict with the law.

Care and Protection of Children (sections 4-24)

4   Representation by Children's Advocate

   (1) For the purpose of protecting and enforcing the rights of children, there is hereby established a commission of Parliament which shall be known as the Children's Advocate.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.