The Family Care and Justice System in Guernsey supports children and their families to try and resolve any disputes, observe and act on any welfare concerns for young people and children, and addresses youth offending.
It includes the work of the courts, the Children's Convenor and the Child Youth and Community Tribunal, among many other agencies.
The Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008 governs aspects of the Family Care and Justice System, alongside other legislation. The general principle of the Children Law is that the welfare of the child is paramount in any decision making. More information on the Children Law can be found here: Children Law - Child Protection Guidelines (iscp.gg).
Here you will find information and resources on the agencies involved in the system.
The States of Guernsey and States Members have an obligation to act as the corporate parents for both children in care and care leavers who cannot live with their birth families for whatever reason.
The Committee for Health & Social Care is the lead States Committee for the Children Law and is responsible for Children & Family Community Services including the Multi Agency Support Hub which works to safeguard any children in need or at risk.
Agencies and stakeholders
Children & Family Community Services
- The Children & Family Community Services operates the services which support a child and their families when they have contact with the Family Care and Justice System.
- It provides support to children in care and care leavers, as well as community support services such as the child community nurses, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and the Children's Dental Service.
- The service is responsible for the oversight of the Multi Agency Support Hub and works closely with other agencies such as the police and the Children's Convenor to protect children and young people who are either at risk or in need.
- More info can be found here: Health, Social Care & Wellbeing - States of Guernsey (gov.gg)
The Magistrate's and Royal Courts
- Matters relating to children are dealt with by both the Magistrate's and Royal Court, with the Juvenile Court who consider some cases involving juveniles (under the age of 18) who are charged with criminal offences.
- The Courts will also consider more serious cases whereby the permanent removal of a child from the household is being considered.
- More info can be found here: The Magistrate's Court - Guernsey Royal Court and Juvenile Court - Guernsey Royal Court
Child Youth and Community Tribunal
- The Child Youth and Tribunal Board gives children and young people in need the opportunity to have their case heard outside of a court environment.
- Based on factual reports and information presented, CYCT members will decide what action is required in the best interests of the child. They will be required to make an informed and unbiased decision on whether or not the child needs to be protected, guided or controlled.
- More info can be found here: Child Youth and Community Tribunal
- The Children's Convenor is responsible for investigating referrals where there is concern about a child under the age of eighteen. It investigates relevant information and decides whether there may be need for some form of compulsory intervention in the Child's situation.
- If the Convenor decides that grounds set out in the Law may be met, the case can be referred to a hearing of the Child, Youth and Community Tribunal
- More info can be found here: Children's Convenor - Children's Convenor
Family Proceedings Advisory Service
- The Family Proceedings Advisory Service (FPAS) aims to safeguard and promote the interests of children and young people involved in Family Court proceedings and ensure that children's views are heard and facilitate effective communication with all parties. The service also offers mediation and conciliation services for parties who have made initial applications to court.
- More info can be found here: Family Proceedings Advisory Service - States of Guernsey (gov.gg)
- The police have protective powers to respond to any incidents where there is concern for the welfare of the child and will investigate any crimes against children.
- The Public Protection Unit are part of the Multi Agency Support Hub and work with other agencies to safeguard children 'at risk' and 'in need' of additional support.
- When a young persons commits a crime the police work with other agencies to consider the most appropriate response.
- More info can be found here: Public Protection Unit - Guernsey Police
Other agencies involved