Children’s Amendment & Second Amendment Bill

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Submissions are now closed (since 19 August 2015)

Social Development

The Portfolio Committee on Social Development invites you to submit written comments on these two bills.

Children’s Amendment Bill [B13-2015] 

The Bill seeks to amend the Children’s Act of 2005, so as to:
• insert certain definitions;
• provide that a person convicted of a sexual offence, or an offence for the possession of child pornography, be deemed unsuitable to work with children;
• afford a child offender an opportunity to make representations as to why a finding of unsuitability to work with children should not be made;
• provide that the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service must forward to the Director-General all the particulars of persons found unsuitable to work with children;
• provide for a child offender to apply in the prescribed manner to have their particulars removed from the Register;
• provide for the review of a decision to remove a child without a court order; to extend the circumstances as to when a child is adoptable;
• extend the effects of an adoption order by providing that an adoption order does not automatically terminate all parental responsibilities and rights of a parent of a child when an adoption order is granted in favour of the spouse or permanent domestic life-partner of that parent;

Public hearings will be conducted at Parliament on Wednesday and Friday, 02 and 04 September 2015.

Please note submissions and request to make oral presentation must be received by no later than 12:00 on Wednesday, 19 August 2015.

Comments can be emailed to Ms Lindiwe Ntsabo at lntsabo@parliament.gov.za by no later than 12:00 on Wednesday, 19 August 2015.

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Lindiwe Ntsabo on tel (021) 403 8230 or cell 083 709 8524.

Issued by MP Capa, Mrs RN, Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Social Development.


Background

The Children’s Amendment Bill (‘‘the Bill’’) seeks to amend the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) (‘‘the Act’’), so as to give effect to recent Court judgments and to insert certain definitions; to provide that a person convicted of a sexual offence, or an offence for the possession of child pornography, be deemed unsuitable to work with children; before making a finding that a child is unsuitable to work with children, afford a child offender an opportunity to make representations as to why such an order should not be made, have the best interest of the child considered and on good cause shown, make an order that the particulars of that child not be included in the register; to provide that the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service must forward to the Director-General all the particulars of persons found unsuitable to work with children; to provide for a child offender to apply in the prescribed manner, to have their particulars removed from the Register; to provide for the review of a decision to remove a child without a court order; to extend the circumstances as to when a child is adoptable; to extend the effects of an adoption order by providing that an adoption order does not automatically terminate all parental responsibilities and rights of a parent of a child when an adoption order is granted in favour of the spouse or permanent domestic life-partner of that parent; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

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 Children’s Second Amendment Bill [B14-2015] 

The Bill seeks to amend the Children’s Act of 2005, so as to:
• extend a definition; to insert new definitions;
• provide that the removal of a child to temporary safe care without a court order be placed before the children’s court for review before the expiry of the next court day;
• provide for the review of a decision to remove a child without a court order;
• provide for the provincial head of social development to transfer a child or a person from one form of alternative care to another form of alternative care;
• provide that an application for a child to remain in alternative care beyond the age of 18 years, must be submitted before the end of the year in which the relevant child reaches the age of 18 years

Public hearings will be conducted at Parliament on Wednesday and Friday23 and 25 September 2015.

Please note submissions and request to make oral presentation must be received by no later than 12:00 on Wednesday19 August 2015.

Comments can be emailed to Ms Lindiwe Ntsabo at lntsabo@parliament.gov.za by no later than 12:00 on Wednesday, 19 August 2015.

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Lindiwe Ntsabo on tel (021) 403 8230 or cell 083 709 8524.

Issued by MP Capa, Mrs RN, Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Social Development.


Background
In C and Others v Department of Health and Social Development, Gauteng and others 2012 (2) SA 208 (CC), the Constitutional Court confirmed the order of the High Court declaring sections 151 and 152 of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) (‘‘Children’s Act’’), unconstitutional, which provides for the removal of a child to a form of temporary safe care with or without a court order, to the extent that it provides for a child to be removed from family care by state officials and placed in temporary safe care, but does not provide for the child to be brought before the children’s court for automatic review. The Court found that the Act lacked safety mechanisms to deal with a situation where a social worker or a police officer wrongly removed a child or where the children’s court makes an order based on incorrect information. To give effect to the decision of the Constitutional Court, the Children’s Second Amendment Bill (‘‘Bill’’), seeks to amend the Act to provide that the removal of a child to a temporary safe care without a court order be placed before the children’s court for review before the expiry of the next court day and for an automatic review and that an interim order granted in respect of the removal of a child to temporary safe care be placed before the children’s court before the expiry of the next court date and that the parent, guardian or care-giver be present in court. The Bill also seeks to extend the definition of adoption social worker; to insert new definitions; to provide for the provincial head of social development to transfer a child or a person from one form of alternative care to another form of alternative care; and to provide that an application for a child to remain in alternative care beyond the age of 18 years, must be submitted before the end of the year in which the relevant child reaches the age of 18 years.