16th December, 2005
LEGAL NOTICE No. 145
THE CHILDREN ACT, 2001
(No. 8 of 2001)
IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 72 of the Children Act, 2001, the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, in consultation with the National Council for Children’s Services, makes the following Regulations -
THE CHILDREN (CHARITABLE CHILDREN’S INSTITUTIONS) REGULATIONS, 2005 Preliminary
These Regulations may be cited as the Children (Charitable Children’s Institutions) Regulations, 2005 and shall come into force on such date as the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, appoint.
(1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires–
“administering authority” means a person or body of persons registered to run an institution;
“institution” means a charitable children’s institution as defined in sections 58 and 59 of the Act;
“placing authority” means a Children’s Court or the Department of Children’s Services, and includes authorized officers as defined in the Act.
(2) Institutions shall be run in a way consistent with the guiding and overriding rights contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, and the African Charter for the Rights and Welfare of the Child, to ensure maximum survival and development of children, non discrimination of children, respecting of children’s right to air opinions and securing of the best interests of children.
3. Registration of institutions
(1) Any person or body of persons that intends to operate an institution shall apply for registration of the institution to the Council through the Area Advisory Council operating in their area in the form set out in the First Schedule, and where such a person or body of persons wish to operate more than one institution, it shall present separate applications for each institution.
(2) An application for registration shall be accompanied by the following –
(a) in the case of an unincorporated body of persons, a list of trustees of that body;
(b) in the case of a body corporate or any other body which is by law required to be registered, a certificate of registration;
(c) copy of the proposed mission or policy statement of the institution, which shall comprise of matters set out in the Ninth Schedule.
(3) The Area Advisory Council shall acknowledge receipt of every application for registration in the form set out in the Second Schedule, within thirty days after the date of receipt, and shall indicate the date (which shall not be later than thirty days from the date of receipt) when the Area Advisory Council shall inspect the premises of the institution to ascertain whether it meets the requirement set out in the Third Schedule.
(4) The Area Advisory Council shall –
(a) if it finds that the requirements of Third Schedule have been complied with after inspection, place the application for registration before the Director, together with its recommendations, within fourteen days from the date of inspection.
(b) if after inspection it finds that the requirements of the Third Schedule have not been complied with, undertake the following–
(i) make recommendations for improvement to the administering authority, for implementation before the next inspection, if the continued operation of the institution does not pose a danger to the welfare of the children: or
(ii) recommend to the Director for the immediate closure of the institution and make arrangements for placing the children accommodated in the institution in other institutions.
Provided that if a decision is made under paragraph (ii), the administering authority may within thirty days from the date of closure, appeal to the Minister.
(5) The appeal to the Minister shall be made in the form set out in the Fourth Schedule.
(6) The Director shall, when all the requirements for registration have been compiled with, and after consultation with the Council, recommend to the Minister to issue a Certificate of Registration to the successful applicant.
(7) The form set out in the Fifth Schedule is prescribed as the form of Certificate of Registration for the purposes of paragraph (6).
(8) No organization shall operate as an institution unless it has been registered under these Regulations.
(9) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, every institution that had been registered under the Children and Young Persons Act (now repealed) shall be deemed to continue as it if had been registered under these Regulations but shall be required to comply with the Regulations and renew its registration accordingly within one year of coming into force of the Regulations.
4. Implementation of child welfare programmes.
(1) For purposes of section 69 of the Act, any registered institution that wishes to implement a child welfare programme shall notify the Area Advisory Council in the form prescribed in the Sixth Schedule.
(2) The Area Advisory Council shall acknowledge receipt of such notification in writing, indicating to the institution the time of inspection by the Area Advisory Council, if necessary, within fourteen days from the date of notification.
(3) The Area Advisory Council shall submit to the Director details (with recommendations) of the proposed child welfare programme within fourteen days of the date of notification, and the Director shall then place the same before the Council.
(4) The Council shall either –
(a) approve the whole or part of the programme if it complies with the requirements set out in the Seventh Schedule, and shall issue the institution with a Certificate of Approval prescribed in the Eighth Schedule; or
(b) disapprove the whole or part of the programme if it does not comply with the requirements set forth in the Seventh Schedule.
Mission and Policy Statement and Children’s Guide
5. Mission and Policy Statement
(1) The administering authority shall compile in relation to an institution a written statement (hereinafter referred to as “the mission and policy statement”) which shall comprise of matters set out in the Ninth Schedule.
(2) The administering authority shall provide a copy of the mission and policy statement to the Area Advisory Council and shall make a copy of it available upon request for inspection by –
(c) the parent of any child accommodated in the institution;¬
(d) the placing authority of any child accommodated in the institution.
(e) any other person who may be authorized by law:
In this regulation, references to a child who is being accommodated in the institution include a child who is being considered for accommodation in the institution.
(3) The administering authority shall produce a guide to the institution (hereinafter referred to as “the children’s guide”) which shall include–
(a) a summary of the institution’s mission and policy statement;
(b) a summary of the complaints procedure;¬ and
(c) postal and physical addresses of the Area Advisory Council, the area’s District Children’s Officer and any other agency that offer services to children.
(4) The children’s guide shall be produced in a form appropriate to the age, understanding and common needs of the children to be accommodated at the institution.
(5) The administering authority shall provide a copy of the children’s guide to the Area Advisory Council and to each child accommodated in the institution upon admission.
(6) The administering authority shall ensure that the institution is at all times run in a manner consistent with its mission and policy statement.
6. Review of mission and policy statement and children’s guide.
(1) The administering authority shall keep the children’s guide and mission and policy statement under review from time to time and where appropriate, make such revisions as it deems necessary.
(2) Where revisions are made to the children’s guide and mission and policy statement, the administering authority shall notify the Area Advisory Council of such revisions within thirty days of making of the revisions, and shall accordingly furnish the Area Advisory Council with a copy of the revised children’s guide and mission and policy statement.
(3) Where the children’s guide is revised, the administering authority shall provide a copy of the revised copy to each child accommodated in the institution.
Welfare of Children
7. Promotion of welfare
(1) The administering authority shall make suitable arrangements to ensure that an institution is operated so as to –
(a) promote and make proper provision for the welfare of children accommodated there; and
(b) make proper provision for the holistic care, education, supervision and treatment of children hosted there.
(2) The administering authority shall make suitable arrangements to ensure that an institution is managed –
(a) in a manner which respects the privacy and dignity of children accommodated there; and
(b) with due regard to gender, religious beliefs, racial origin, tribal, cultural and other background, and any special needs including disability of children accommodated there.
8. Child placement plan
(1) The administering authority shall, before providing accommodation to a child in an institution, or if that is not possible, as soon as possible thereafter, prepare, after conducting a needs assessment of the child, a written plan (hereinafter referred to as “the placement plan”) for the child, setting out in particular –
(a) how, on a day to day basis, he will be cared for, and his welfare safeguarded and promoted by the institution;
(b) the arrangement for his health care and education;
(c) any arrangements made for contact with his parents, relatives, and friends;¬ and
(d) arrangements for the child’s care after the child leaves the institution, which shall include his home environment adjustment plan.
(2) The administering authority shall review the placement plan annually, and where appropriate revise it as it deems necessary.
(3) In preparing or reviewing the placement plan, the administering authority shall so far as practicable, having regard to the child’s age and understanding, seek and take account of the child’s views.
(4) The administering authority shall so far as is practicable –
(a) Ensure that the placement plan is consistent with any plan for the care of the child prepared by his placing authority;¬ and
(b) comply with requests made by the child’s placing authority to–
(i) provide it with information concerning the child;¬ an
(ii) provide a suitable representative to attend any meetings it may hold concerning the child.
(5) The administering authority shall at all times ensure that all children accommodated at the institution have the requisite court orders.
9. Food provided to the children.
(1) The administering authority shall ensure that children accommodated in the institution are provided with –
(a) food which –
(i) is served in adequate quantities and at appropriate intervals;
(ii) is properly prepared, wholesome, balanced and nutritious;
(iii) is suitable for their needs;¬ and
(iv) is sufficiently varied.
(b) access to fresh, clean, drinking water at all times.
(2) The administering authority shall ensure that any special dietary needs of a child accommodated in the institution, which is due to health, religion, race, tribe or cultural background is met.
10. Provision of clothing and personal necessities
(1) The administering authority shall ensure that children accommodated in the institution are appropriately and adequately clothed and shall ensure the clothing meets their needs.
(2) The administering authority shall provide all necessary facilities and resources to ensure that the personal necessities of each child accommodated in the institution are met paying due regard to the child’s age, gender and any other special needs.
11. Contact and access to information
(1) The administering authority shall –
(a) promote the contact of each child with his parents, relatives and friends in accordance with the arrangements set out in his placement plan;¬ and
(b) ensure that suitable facilities are provided within the institution for any child accommodated there to meet privately at any reasonable time, giving due regard to the institution’s programme of activities, with his parents, relatives, or any person authorized by law.
(2) The administering authority shall ensure that children accommodated at an institution are provided at all reasonable times and as far as practicable, with access to relevant facilities for their communication with the outside world.
(3) Subject to regulation 17(6) (c), the administering authority may impose such restrictions, prohibitions or conditions upon a child’s contact and communication if it is satisfied it is necessary for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the child in question, and where this is done the reasons thereof shall be recorded in the child’s case records.
12. Education, leisure activity and employment
(1) The administering authority shall promote the educational attainment of children accommodated in an institution, in particular by ensuring that –
(a) the children make use of educational facilities appropriate to their age, aptitude, needs, interests and potential;
(b) the routine of the institution is organized so as to further children’s participation in education, including private study;¬ and
(c) effective links are maintained with any schools attended by children accommodated in the institution.
(2) The administering authority shall promote extra-curricular activities and ensure that children accommodated in the institution are–
(a) encouraged to develop and pursue appropriate leisure activities;¬ and
(b) provided with appropriate play, recreational and leisure facilities.
(3) Where any child in an institution has attained the age where he is no longer required to receive compulsory full-time education, the administering authority shall assist with the making of, and giving effect to, the arrangements made for his education, training and employment with due regard to the child’s views.
13. The administering authority shall ensure that each child accommodated in an institution, so far as practicable -
(a) attend the services of;
(b) receive instruction in;¬ and
(c) observe any requirement (whether as to dress, diet or otherwise) of, the religious persuasion to which he belongs:
Provided that no child shall be forced to observe or participate in religious activities which are not of the child’s persuasion.
14. Health needs of children.
(1) The administering authority shall promote and protect the health of the children accommodated in an
(2) In particular the administering authority shall ensure that –
(a) each child has access to such medical, dental, nursing, psychological and psychiatric advice, treatment and other services as he may require;
(b) each child is provided with such individual support, aids and equipment as the child may require as a result of any particular health or special needs he may have;
(c) each child is provided with such individual support and advice on health and personal care issues appropriate to his needs and wishes and that female children are provided with appropriate and adequate sanitary facilities;
(d) at all times and depending on the number of children, at least one person on duty at the children’s institution has a suitable first aid qualification;
(e) any person appointed to the position of nurse at the institution is a registered nurse.
15. Hazard and safety.
The administering authority shall ensure that –
(a) all parts of the institution to which children have access are free from hazards to their safety;
(b) activities in which children participate are so far as reasonably practicable free from avoidable risks;
(c) unnecessary risks to the health or safety of children accommodated in the home are eliminated;
and shall make suitable arrangements for all children, and persons working at the institution to be trained in first aid and disaster preparedness and management.
16. Complaints and representation.
(1) The administering authority shall establish a written procedure for considering complaints made by or on behalf of children accommodated in the institution.
(2) The procedure shall, in particular, provide –
(a) for an opportunity for informal resolution of the complaint at an early stage;
(b) that no person who is a subject of a complaint takes any part in its consideration other than, if the administering authority considers it appropriate, at the informal resolution stage only;
(c) for dealing with complaints about the person in charge and/or persons in authority;
(d) for complaints made by person acting on behalf of a child;
(e) for arrangements for the procedure to be known and copies be availed to –
(i) children accommodated in the institution;
(ii) their parents;
(iii) placing authority; and
(iv) persons working in the institution.
(3) The administering authority shall ensure that a written record is made of any complaint, the action taken in response, and the outcome of investigation (if any).
(4) The administering authority shall ensure that –
(a) children accommodated in the institution are enabled to make a complaint or representation; and
(b) no child is subject to any reprisal for making a complaint or representation.
17. Behaviour management policy.
(1) The administering authority shall develop a policy (hereinafter referred to as “the behaviour management policy”) for the maintenance of good behaviour of children accommodated in the institution.
(2) The behaviour management policy shall outline –
(a) measures of control, restraint and discipline;
(b) reward measures for the children’s good behaviour;
(c) persons other than the person in charge authorized to use the measures;
(d) events, occasions, acts or omission that would invite the use of such measures;
(e) the procedures to be undertaken, giving a child a chance to be heard, before the measures are undertaken.
(3) The administering authority shall provide a copy of the behaviour management policy to –
(a) the child upon admission to the institution;
(b) the parents or guardians of the child; and
(c) the Area Advisory Council.
(4) The administering authority shall –
(a) keep the behaviour management policy under review, and where appropriate revise it as it deems necessary;¬ and
(b) notify the Council of any such revisions within twenty-eight days from the date of revision.
(5) The administering authority shall ensure that within twenty four hours of the use of any measure of control, restraint or discipline in an institution, a written record is made in a volume kept for the purpose which shall include –
(b) details of the child’s behaviour leading to the use of the measure;
(c) a description of the measure used;
(d) the date, time and location of the use of the measure, and in the case of any form of restraint, the duration of the restraint;
(e) the name of the person using the restraint;
(f) the effectiveness and any consequences of the use of the measure; and
(g) the signature of the person authorized to make the record
(6) The following shall not be used as a disciplinary measure on children accommodated in an institution –
(a) any form of corporal punishment;
(b) any punishment relating to the consumption or deprivation of food or drink;
(c) any restriction, other than one imposed by a court or in accordance with regulation 11(3) on –
(i) a child’s contact with his parents, relatives or friends;
(ii) visits to him by his parents, relatives or friends;
(iii) a child’s communication with any persons authorized by law to contact the child in accordance with regulation 11 (1)(b).
(d) any requirement that a child wear any distinctive or inappropriate clothes;
(e) the use or withholding of medication or medical or dental treatment;
(f) the intentional deprivation of sleep;
(g) the imposition of any financial penalty, other than a requirement for the payment of a reasonable sum (which may be by installments) by way of reparation;
(h) any intimate physical examination of the child;
(i) the withholding of any aids or equipment needed by a disabled child;
(j) any measure which involves –
(i) any child in the imposition of any measure against any other child;¬ or
(ii) the punishment of a group of children for the behaviour of an individual child;
(k) any measures which are degrading, dehumanizing or cruel.
18. Appointment of person in charge
(1) The administering authority shall appoint a person (to be known as “the person in charge”) to manage an institution.
(2) A person shall not manage an institution unless he is fit to do so and shall be deemed as such if –
(a) he is of integrity and good character;
(b) having regard to the size of the institution, its mission and policy statement, and the number and needs (including any needs from any disability) of the children accommodated there –
(i) he has the qualification, skills and experience necessary for managing the institution; and
(ii) he is physically and mentally fit to manage the institution;
(c) full and satisfactory information is available in relation to him on matters specified in the Tenth Schedule.
19. Staffing of institutions
(1) The administering authority shall ensure that there is at all times, having regard to –
(a) the size of an institution, the mission and policy statement, the number and the needs (including any needs arising from disability) of the children accommodated there; and
(b) the need to safeguard and promote the health and welfare of the children accommodated in the institution, a sufficient number of suitably qualified, competent and experienced persons working at an institution and shall at all times ensure the following person are employed –
(i) qualified social worker(s);
(ii) person in charge of preparation of food as per regulation 9;
(iii) person in charge of the health of children accommodated in the institution.
(2) The administering authority shall ensure that the employment of any person on voluntary or temporary basis at the institution will not prevent children from receiving such continuity of care as is reasonable to meet their needs.
20. Fitness of workers
(1) The administering authority shall not –
(a) employ a person to work at an institution unless the person is fit to work at an institution; or
(b) allow a person who is employed by another person (other than the administering authority of the institution) working at the institution in close and regular contact with the children accommodated there, to work in the institution if he is not fit to do so.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a person is not fit to work at an institution unless –
(a) he is of integrity and good character;
(b) he has the qualifications, skills and experience necessary for the work he is to perform;
(c) he is physically and mentally fit for the purposes of the work he is to perform; and
(d) full and satisfactory information is available in relation to him in respect of matters outlined in the Tenth Schedule.
(3) The administering authority shall ensure that –
(2)(d) being complied with in relation to that person; and
(b) unless paragraph (4) applies, no person starts work at an institution until such time that paragraph (2)(d) has been complied with in relation to him.
(4) Where the following conditions apply, the administering authority may permit a person to start work at an institution notwithstanding paragraph (3) (b) –
(a) the administering authority has taken all reasonable steps to obtain full information in respect of all the matters listed in the Tenth Schedule in respect of that person, but the inquiries in relation to any of the matters listed in paragraphs (3) to (6) of the Tenth Schedule are incomplete;
(b) full and satisfactory information in respect of that person has been obtained in relation to the following –
(i) paragraph (1) of the Tenth Schedule;
(ii) except where paragraph (4) above applies, paragraph (2) of the Tenth Schedule;¬
(iii) where paragraph (4) above applies, paragraph (7) of the Tenth Schedule;
(c) the administering authority considers that the circumstances are exceptional;
(d) pending receipt of, and satisfying himself with regard to, any outstanding information, the administering authority ensures that the person is appropriately supervised while carrying out his duties.