Section Summarised

What are some of the orders a Children’s Court can make?

As a child protection social worker, it is important for you to remember some of the orders a Children’s Court can make. Below, we offer a shortened version of these orders listed in Section 46 and 48 – read these in detail when you have time.

You could make recommendations in your court report, in terms of section 46 (1) that a children’s court should respectfully issue:

  1. An alternative care order (so any alternative care where you place a child in need of care and protection
  2. An order placing a child in a child-headed household under appointed supervision
  3. An adoption order
  4. A partial care order
  5. A shared care order
  6. A supervision order
    1. An order instructing early intervention services
    2. An order instructing the attendance of a family preservation programme
  7. A child protection order
    1. Instructing a child remain or be released from the care of a person
    2. Giving consent to medical treatment or operation of a child
    3. Instructing a parent/caregiver to undergo professional counselling or to participate in any problem-solving forum
    4. Instructing a child or any person involved in the case to participate in professional assessment
    5. Instructing a hospital to retain a child
    6. Instructing a person to undergo training, rehabilitation, skills development if necessary for the protection or wellbeing of a child
    7. Instructing a person who has failed to fulfil his/her responsibilities towards a child to appear in front of the court and explain himself/herself
    8. Instructing an organ of state to assist a child in obtaining access to a public service
    9. Instructing a person to be removed from a child’s home
    10. Limiting access a person has to a child or prohibiting someone from contacting a child
    11. Allowing someone contact with a child
  8. A contribution order
  9. An Investigation in terms of section 50

Section 48 (additional powers that a Children’s Court enjoys)

    1. Grant interdicts in any matter contemplated in section 45
    2. Extend, withdraw, suspend or vary any of its orders
    3. Impose or vary any time deadlines in terms of any of its orders
    4. Make appropriate orders as to costs
    5. Order the removal of a person from the court
  1. Estimate the age of a person appearing to be a child

So what?

  • It is important for you to be familiar with these orders because it helps you to send a case in the right direction!
  • Perhaps you need a child to be placed in a hospital, for whatever relevant reason, but you are not getting any joy from the organs of state, now you know to make use of this section in making your recommendations to court –it’s a way of asking for support. Of course, this does not always mean your recommendations will be adhered to, as we all know, the presiding officer has the last say.
  • If a parent or caregiver is not co-operating or acting in the best interest of a child, you can recommend (in terms of the sections mentioned above) that the court make an order to compel a parent to attend, for instance, specific training which may promote his or her parenting skills.
  • Either way, it is critical for YOU to know what you MAY ASK from the court in the form of a recommendation.

Always remember to have valid reasons and evidence for your recommendations, and always request these respectfully, being mindful of the fact that the presiding officer makes the final decision.

Carefully summarised by: