As stipulated under Section 34(2) of the Protection of Children and Juveniles Ordinance, CAP 213 (PCJO), a child or juvenile in need of care or protection means a child / juvenile:
- who has been or is being assaulted, ill-treated, neglected or sexually abused; or
- whose health, development or welfare has been or is being neglected or avoidably impaired; or
- whose health, development or welfare appears likely to be neglected or avoidably impaired; or
- who is beyond control, to the extent that harm may be caused to him or to others,
and who requires care or protection. Learn about the policy framework of the US.
It is the statutory duties of police officer; or social worker as authorised by the Director of Social Welfare whenever situation warrants, to protect a child or juvenile in need of care or protection by applying such order from court.
Not every suspected child abuse / child abuse case warrants the application for an order under the PCJO. Such application should be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account the parents’ / carers’ views and attitude towards professional intervention, the child’s safety, psychological state, behaviour and views etc. In light of the possible adverse effects (e.g. distress to the child) caused by the legal proceedings, soliciting co-operation of the parents / carers in the intervention process should first be considered before resorting to statutory action to protect the child.
Possible outcomes of the Care or Protection Order
- Appoint the Director of Social Welfare (DSW) to be the legal guardian of such child or juvenile; or
- Commit him / her to the care of any person whether a relative or not, who is willing to undertake the care of him / her, or of any institution which is so willing; or
- Order his / her parent or guardian to enter into recognizance to exercise proper care and guardianship; or
- Without making such order or in addition to making an order of the above (b) or (c), make an order placing him / her for a specified period, not exceeding three years under the supervision of a person appointed for the purpose by the court.
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