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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 5 March 2008

Children and Young Persons Act to be amended

Source: www.mcys.gov.sg

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT TO BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR HIGHER STANDARD OF CARE, PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION
CHILDREN & YOUNG PERSONS HOMES TO BE LICENSED
The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports is currently reviewing the Children and Young Persons Act (CYPA). Some of the proposed amendments to the Act will provide for the following to be carried out in order to raise the standard of care, protection and rehabilitation of children and young persons:
A To require all non-gazetted Homes for children and young persons operated by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) to be licensed.
There are currently 24 Homes run by VWOs for children and young persons. Eleven of these Homes hold gazette status, which requires them to admit cases ordered by the Juvenile Court (please refer to Annex A). The new licensing requirement will apply to the remaining 13 Homes which do not hold any gazette status.
B To require all Homes, both gazetted and licensed, to conduct regular review of the progress of all children and young persons under their care.
This will be an enhancement to the present regulations under the Act which require only certain case types to be reviewed. The review of all cases in the Homes will enable closer tracking of progress, and better assistance and support for these children and young persons.
C To require all Homes, both gazetted and licensed, to be subject to mandatory inspections by MCYS.
These inspections will ensure that the specified standards are observed. They will be in addition to the inspections conducted at least once in two months by an independent Board of Visitors appointed by the Minister.
D To give the Director of Social Welfare and the Protector, appointed under the CYPA, the authority to stop the VWOs from operating the Homes by revoking or suspending the license in instances of mismanagement of the Homes or the residents.
Under such circumstances, the Director of Social Welfare will also have the authority to transfer the residents to other Homes and/or to appoint a suitable body to take over the management the Homes.
The review of the CYPA is currently on-going. Besides the proposed amendments described above, other changes to the Act are also being looked into to enhance the care, protection and rehabilitation of children and young persons. All proposed amendments to the CYPA will be put up for public consultation in mid-2008.
First enacted in 1949, the CYPA is the main legislation in Singapore that provides for the care, protection and rehabilitation of children and young persons. Please refer to Annex B for details on the CYPA.
The Act was last amended in 2001 to widen the scope of child protection and include more options in the rehabilitation process. The 2001 amendments also placed greater emphasis on parental involvement in the rehabilitation of youth offenders and the care and protection of children and young persons. Please refer to Annex C for the main amendments to the CYPA in 2001.
More.....
ISSUED BY

MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, YOUTH AND SPORTS

Source: www.mcys.gov.sg Media Release 5 Mar 2008

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