CHILDREN'S: SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

INDEX TO SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

Child Protection Regulations

CHILD PROTECTION REGULATIONS

(under section 117)

(27th February, 2015)

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

REGULATION

PART I
Preliminary

   1.    Citation

   2.   Interpretation

PART Il
Child Protection and Guiding Principles

   3.   Protection officers

   4.   Guiding principles

   5.   Code of conduct

   6.   Standards for child protection organisation

PART III
Care of Children

   7.   Co-parenting agreement

   8.   Social worker to be assigned

   9.   Duty to keep privacy of child

   10.   Assessment of child with disability

   11.   Refugee and displaced children

PART IV
Fostering of Children

   12.   Form of care agreement

   13.   Screening of foster parents

   14.   Duties of foster parents

   15.   Non-citizen foster parents

   16.   Travel outside Botswana of child under care of foster parent

   17.   Disappearance of child under care of foster parent to be reported

   18.   Social worker's report

   19.   Foster placement certificate

PART V
Child Abuse and Register of Child Abusers

   20.   Rehabilitation of abused child

   21.   Programmes and rehabilitative measures

   22.   Access to abused child

   23.   Register of child abusers

   24.   Removal of name from register

PART VI
Probation Services

   25.   Qualifications of probation officer

   26.   Reports to court

   27.   Visitations

   28.   Revocation of probation order

   29.   Settlement out of court, etc.

PART VII
Licensing and Operation of Child Welfare Institutions

   30.   Application for licence to operate welfare institution

   31.   Notice of requisition

   32.   Grant of licence

   33.   Board of management

   34.   Functions of Board

   35.   Qualifications, suspension and resignation of members

   36.   Vacation of office by members

   37.   Filling of vacancy

   38.   Remuneration and allowances

PART VIII
Maintenance of Health Standards by Child Welfare Institutions

   39.   Cleanliness

   40.   First aid, sick bay and fire-fighting equipment

   41.   Medical care and treatment

   42.   Private sector medical care

   43.   Prohibition of smoking

   44.   Kitchen facilities

PART IX
Miscellaneous Provisions

   45.   Report on foster care or institutional care situation

   46.   Endorsement of father's name in birth certificate

   47.   Assessing suitability of parent's partner

   48.   Death of parent

   49.   Custody in case of divorce

   50.   Extra mural labour

   51.   Revocation of Cap. 28:04 (Sub. Leg.)

       SCHEDULE

S.I. 8, 2005,
S.I. 17, 2015.

PART I
Preliminary

1.   Citation

   These Regulations may be cited as the Child Protection Regulations.

2.   Interpretation

   In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires -

   "Board" means the Board of management appointed in accordance with regulation 32;

   "child protection" means the provision of services related to the protection of children from harm, neglect, abuse and exploitation and the protection of all rights of children;

   "Department" means the Department of Social and Community Development;

   "Director" means the Director responsible for children's affairs;

   "DNA paternity test" means the technology used by a recognised medical laboratory to determine paternity; and

   "official child protection role" means engaging in the protection of children from violence, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.

PART II
Child Protection and Guiding Principles

3.   Protection officers

   A person shall not be designated, employed or work in any official child protection role, unless he or she is a holder of at least a diploma in social work, child protection related field, law, education, child development or health related discipline.

4.   Guiding principles

   (1) A social worker or a person engaged in any official child protection role shall, in the discharge of his or her duties -

   (a)   not condone, accept or otherwise tolerate any form of child abuse, exploitation or neglect on the part of any person against a child;

   (b)   demonstrate dedication and commitment to the protection of a child;

   (c)   collaborate with other service providers and workers in child protection;

   (d)   consider and analyse any action by any person towards any child and promptly take the relevant action to ensure protection of the child from abuse, exploitation or neglect; and

   (e)   not encourage or allow the participation of a child under his or her care and direction in matters that may negatively affect the child.

   (2) The guiding principles provided under subregulation (1) are an addition to the guiding principles provided for under section 7 of the Act.

5.   Code of conduct

   (1) A person employed -

   (a)   as a social worker or as a probation officer; or

   (b)   in any official child protection role by a service provider, an organisation or institution providing a place of safety or a school of industry,

   (2) A service provider, organisation or institution serving as a place of safety or school of industry shall ensure that all employees engaged in any official child protection role comply with the provisions of subregulation (1).

   (3) A service provider, organisation or institution which engages any person who does not comply with the provisions of subregulation (1), commits an offence.

   (4) The code of conduct signed in terms of subregulation (1), shall not prejudice the provisions of any employment agreement not inconsistent with the Act and these Regulations, entered into by a service provider, organisation or institution serving as a place of safety or school of industry and the employees of such service provider, organization or institution.

   (5) A social worker, probation officer or employee engaged in any official child protection role who fails to abide by the code of conduct undertaken by him or her, commits an offence.

   (6) A person who commits an offence under subregulation (3) or (5), is liable to a fine not exceeding P5 000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

   (7) In addition to the penalty under subregulation (6), a person who contravenes the provisions of this regulation may be-

   (a)   suspended as a service provider, or from an organisation or institution he or she is employed under; or

   (b)   expelled from the service provider, organisation or institution that he or she is employed under.

6.   Standards for child protection organisation

   (1) A service provider, organisation or institution which provides a place of safety or a school of industry shall have and implement a policy that -

   (a)   a person who has been convicted of a criminal offence shall not be engaged by it as a volunteer or in any other capacity;

   (b)   child protection and care training and other relevant training is provided at regular intervals for the benefit of its employees and to empower them to meet the different needs of children;

   (c)   the code of conduct provided under the Schedule is adhered to by all its employees;

   (d)   no funding is accepted from any organisation or person associated with or suspected to be engaged in child abuse or child exploitation;

   (e)   proper programmes and activities for rehabilitation, counselling and reintegration of children subjected to abuse are in place; and

   (f)   a policy on child protection is reviewed at given regular intervals to keep the organisation or institution up to date with international requirements.

   (2) A service provider, organisation or institution which provides a place of safety or a school of industry shall have, among others-

   (a)   gardens for children's use;

   (b)   at least one play ground;

   (c)   adequately furnished -

      (i)   entertainment areas,

      (ii)   therapy rooms, and

      (iii)   study rooms; and

   (d)   professional staff including-

      (i)   social workers,

      (ii)   psychologists,

      (iii)   child development professionals,

      (iv)   psychiatrists, and

      (v)   other relevant professionals.

   (3) A child shall not be denied admission to a service provider, organisation or institution which provides a place of safety or a school of industry by reason of the HIV status of the child, other chronic illness or any disability.

PART III
Care of Children

7.   Co-parenting agreement

   (1) A co-parenting agreement referred to under section 26 of the Act shall be in Form 2 set out under the Schedule.

   (2) Parents who wish to enter into a co-parenting agreement shall appear before a social worker in the area of residence of the child for assessment before entering into the co-parenting agreement.

   (3) The social worker referred to under subregulation (2), shall make an assessment of the needs of the child before the conclusion of the co-parenting agreement, which needs shall be included in the agreement.

   (4) The social worker may, where he or she finds that the co-parenting agreement is not in the best interests of the child, make an application to the children's court to vary or revoke the agreement.

   (5) A parent who wishes to vary or revoke a co-parenting agreement shall give the other parent 30 days' notice of intention to vary or revoke the agreement.

   (6) In any proceedings for the variation or revocation of a co-parenting agreement, the court shall take into consideration the assessment of the social worker on the implementation of the agreement in relation to the child.

   (7) The place stated as the residence of a child under a co-parenting agreement shall be the permanent residence of the child, until the child is 10 years of age.

   (8) Where the child referred to under subregulation 7 has reached the age of 10 years, the child shall be consulted whenever the parents or other persons are making any decision on the permanent residence or visitation period of the child.

8.   Social worker to be assigned

   (1) For purposes of the general well-being of a child, a social worker shall be assigned to observe and monitor the emotional well-being and general welfare of the child.

   (2) The social worker shall make at least two visitations in three months and submit a quarterly report to the children's court on the progress of the co-parenting agreement, if any, and the well-being of the child.

   (3) The visitations referred to under subregulation (2) shall continue even where the parents are staying in different districts.

9.   Duty to keep privacy of child

   A parent, relative or guardian of a child shall keep any confidential information of, or about the child from the public.

10.   Assessment of child with disability

   (1) A parent, a person with the care and custody of a child or a guardian of a child with disability shall facilitate the referral of the child to appropriate authorities to assess the child's strength and limitations in order to identify-

   (a)   the child's needs for formal or informal education;

   (b)   the special needs and requirements of the child; and

   (c)   any required social or other interventions to enable the child to live a comfortable life.

   (2) A parent, a person with the care and custody or a guardian of a child with disability shall take steps and encourage the child to meet with other children and adults with similar or other disabilities and those who have successfully overcome their disabilities.

   (3) A parent, a person with the care and custody or a guardian of a child with disability shall have the responsibility to refer the child to the appropriate authorities for proper assessment and counselling, if necessary.

   (4) A parent, a person with the care and custody or a guardian who fails to refer or facilitate the referral of a child to the appropriate authority under subregulation (1) or (3), commits the offence of neglect under section 56 of the Act and is liable to the punishment provided under that section.

11.   Refugee and displaced children

   (1) A person engaged in any official child protection role and a social worker in the district where refugee or displaced children reside shall ensure that the children have access to all available amenities and that their basic needs such as medical care, education, shelter, food, psychosocial support and protection from abuse and neglect are met.

   (2) The social worker referred to under subregulation (1), shall monitor and evaluate all programmes and services provided to refugee or displaced children in the district and compile a report on the progress for submission to the children's court.

PART IV
Fostering of Children

12.   Form of care agreement

   A care agreement referred to under section 51 of the Act shall be in Form 3 set out under the Schedule.

13.   Screening of foster parents

   (1) A person who wishes to become a foster parent shall make an application in Form 4 set out under the Schedule.

   (2) An application to become a foster parent shall be accompanied by-

   (a)   three character references, two of which shall be from persons of good standing in society;

   (b)   a home study report from country of origin by an official child protection authority;

   (c)   a medical certificate from a Government medical officer stating that the applicant does not-

      (i)   suffer from a chronic or terminal illness which would render such person unable to provide and care for the child, or

      (ii)   suffer from a communicable disease that poses a danger to the health of the child; and

   (d)   documentary proof that the applicant possesses sufficient means to maintain the child, if the child is to be placed under his or her care.

   (3) A person may be a foster parent if-

   (a)   upon being examined by a Government medical officer, he or she is found not to be addicted to alcohol or other drugs;

   (b)   he or she has never been convicted of any criminal offence resulting from conduct which if repeated would make it unsafe for a child to live with that person;

   (c)   he or she is at least 21 years:

   Provided that a child in need of care may be placed in the custody of a person under the age of 21 years if the children's court finds it to be in the best interests of the child; and

   (d)   he or she is at least 15 years older than the child to tie fostered:

   Provided that where the children's court considers it to be in the best interests of the child, it may place the child under the care of a foster parent who is less than 15 years older than the child.

   (4) Every person who applies to become a foster parent shall be assessed by a social welfare officer, who shall make an assessment as to whether the applicant would be a suitable foster parent.

14.   Duties of foster parents

   (1) A foster parent shall safeguard and promote the welfare of a child under his or her care.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subregulation (1), a foster parent shall provide education, health and medical care, food and clothing to a child under his or her care.

   (3) A foster parent shall not act in any manner that is contrary to the best interest of the child placed under his or her care.

15.   Non-citizen foster parents

   (1) Where a foster parent is not a citizen of Botswana, he or she shall not keep in his or her possession, the birth certificate or the travel documents of the foster child.

   (2) The birth certificate and the travel documents of a child who is under the care of a foster parent who is not a citizen of Botswana shall be kept by the Department.

16.   Travel outside Botswana of child under care of foster parent to be reported

   A person who wishes to travel outside Botswana with a child under his or her care shall obtain written authorisation from the Department and submit such authorisation to the children's court.

17.   Disappearance of child under care of foster parent

   Where a child under foster care disappears from a child welfare institution or the home of a foster parent, the manager of the institution or the foster parent, shall, within 24 hours of the disappearance of the child, report to the nearest police station or a social worker in the District which the child resides.

18.   Social worker's report

   The report made by a social worker in terms of section 74 regarding a child to be placed in foster care shall be in Form 5 set out under the Schedule.

19.   Foster placement certificate

   (1) The Minister may issue a foster placement certificate to a foster parent where the court makes an order placing a child in foster care.

   (2) The foster placement certificate shall be in Form 6 set out under the Schedule.

PART V
Child Abuse and Register of Child Abusers

20.   Rehabilitation of abused child

   (1) A parent, a person with the care and custody of a child or a guardian of a child or any other person who gets to know that a child is being abused, shall report the abuse to a social worker.

   (2) The social worker shall ensure that the abused child is provided with psychotherapy services for at least one year.

   (3) The social worker shall make monthly progress reports to the children's court on the response of the child to psychotherapy.

21.   Programmes and rehabilitative measures

   (1) For the purposes of facilitating the programmes and rehabilitative measures put in place by the Minister under section 54 of the Act, a social worker shall -

   (a)   take the history of abuse of a child and shall involve medical personnel and any other necessary expertise to minimise trauma in the child;

   (b)   make a comprehensive needs assessment and the extent of significant harm on the victim and other family members and thereafter shall provide counselling and parenting skills to the parent, guardian or care giver; and

   (c)   make monthly progress reports to the children's court on the abused child regarding the reconstruction and restructuring of the family for purposes of reintegration of the child into the family.

   (2) The social worker shall, after an abused child has been reintegrated into his or her family-

   (a)   provide aftercare services to the child to ensure that there is no further psychological and emotional trauma; and

   (b)   arrange for medical follow-up in accordance with the instructions of the medical officer who first attended the child.

22.   Access to abused child

   A parent, a person with the care and custody or a guardian who has abused a child shall not be permitted access to the child unless -

   (a)   the access is part of the programme and rehabilitative measures under regulation 21;

   (b)   the child is given advance preparation and is of such age and maturity to give consent to see the parent, person with care and custody or guardian;

   (c)   the social worker or any other child care person is present at the meeting; and

   (d)   the child or a social worker in attendance can end the meeting any time.

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