Child Protector v Parents of GCQ & GCR

CourtYouth Court (Singapore)
JudgeEugene Tay
Judgment Date14 September 2018
Neutral Citation[2018] SGYC 4
Citation[2018] SGYC 4
Docket NumberYouth Court Appeal YA 004/2018/01, Case No. CPO 000005-2016 & CPO 000045-2016
Plaintiff CounselMr Ng Song Yeong/Ms Jocelyn Teo (Attorney-General's Chambers)
Defendant CounselParents (Mr F & Mdm M) in person
District Judge Eugene Tay: Introduction

The Child Protector brought an appeal against the following orders passed on 1 August 2018 in respect of GCQ, a boy born in September 2014 (the younger of the two children in CPO-000005-2016 (“CPO 5/2016”)) and GCR, a girl born in April 2016 (the child in CPO-000045-2016 (“CPO 45/2016”)) under the relevant provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act, Cap 38 (“CYPA”): Orders for GCQ [GCQ] is committed to the care of a fit person, the Ministry’s registered foster mother, Mdm B, for a period of 3 months with effect from 1 August 2018, under s49(1)(b); [GCQ] is to be placed under the supervision of an Approved welfare officer, for a period of 9 months with effect from 1 November 2018, under s49(1)(d); Access between [GCQ] and the father and mother and/or significant others to be subjected to the approval and review by the approved welfare officer for a period of 3 months, under s49(2); The approved welfare officer or any other personnel from the social service agencies shall be allowed to perform announced and unannounced home visits to ensure the safety and well-being of the child, under s49(2); The parents shall discuss safety planning with the approved welfare officer and abide by any safety plans agreed upon, under 49(2); The parents shall not do anything that would compromise the safety and well-being of the child, under s49(2); [GCQ] and the parents shall undergo any assessments/treatment and/or counselling programme as deemed necessary by the approved welfare officer, the father to continue with follow-up appointments/treatment at XXX as deemed necessary by the approved welfare officer, and the parents shall execute a bond of $1,000.00 each to comply with the said order. Orders for GCR [GCR] is committed to the care of a fit person, the Ministry’s registered foster mother, Mdm C, for a period of 1 month with effect from 1 August 2018, under s49(1)(b); [GCR] is to be placed under the supervision of an Approved welfare officer, for a period of 11 months with effect from 1 September 2018, under s49(1)(d); Access between [GCR] and the father and mother and/or significant others to be subjected to the approval and review by the approved welfare officer for a period of 1 month, under s49(2); The approved welfare officer or any other personnel from the social service agencies shall be allowed to perform announced and unannounced home visits to ensure the safety and well-being of the child, under s49(2); The parents shall discuss safety planning with the approved welfare officer and abide by any safety plans agreed upon, under 49(2); The parents shall not do anything that would compromise the safety and well-being of the child, under s49(2); [GCR] and the parents shall undergo any assessments/treatment and/or counselling programme as deemed necessary by the approved welfare officer, the father to continue with follow-up appointments/treatment at XXX as deemed necessary by the approved welfare officer, and the parents shall execute a bond of $1,000.00 each to comply with the said order.

On 1 August 2018, the following orders were also passed in respect of D, a boy born in May 2006 (the older of the two children in CPO 5/2016): Orders for D [D] to be committed to the care of a fit person, the Ministry’s registered foster mother, Mdm E or any other suitable foster parent, for a period of 12 months with effect from 1 August 2018, under s49(1)(b); Access between [D] and the father and mother and/or significant others to be subjected to the approval and review by the approved welfare officer, under s49(2); [D] and the parents shall undergo any assessments/treatment and/or counselling programme as deemed necessary by the approved welfare officer, the father to continue with follow-up appointments/treatment at XXX as deemed necessary by the approved welfare officer, and the parents shall execute a bond of $1,000.00 each to comply with the said order.

At the time of the writing of this judgment, neither the parents nor the Child Protector had appealed against the above orders for D.

On 14 August 2018, the Child Protector, through State Counsel, wrote in to Court requesting to make further arguments in respect of the above orders for GCQ and GCR, which the Court declined. On the same day, the Child Protector filed an appeal against the orders for GCQ and GCR.

Background

The background facts surrounding CPO 5/2016 and CPO 45/2016, including developments leading up to the latest review in Court on 27 April 2018, have been set out in the affidavit of the Child Protection Officer (“CPO”) of Child Protective Service, (“CPS”), Ministry of Social and Family Development affirmed on 21 June 2018 (“CP’s 1st affidavit”)1, and save for the below, it is not necessary to set out full details of the same for the purpose of this judgment.

CPO 5/2016 (involving D and GCQ) was commenced by CPS in Court on 18 January 2016. CPO 45/2016 (involving GCR) was commenced by CPS in Court on 13 June 2016. Care and protection orders had since been made for the respective children to reside in foster care under respective foster parents, and the cases had been reviewed periodically and the orders extended continuously with agreement of all parties on a number of occasions prior to the latest review which is the subject matter of the present application (and appeal).

Prior to the present application / latest review, D’s case was last heard in Court on 12 May 2017, and orders were passed (with parties’ agreement) for D to be committed to the care of the Ministry’s registered foster mother, Mdm B for a period of 12 months2. GCQ’s and GCR’s cases were last heard in Court on 6 September 2017 and, after a family conference was conducted, orders were passed (with parties’ agreement) for GCQ to be committed to the care of the Ministry’s registered foster mother, Mdm B for a period of 8 months3, and for GCR to be committed to the care of the Ministry’s registered foster mother, Mdm C for a period of 8 months4.

At the latest review of the children’s cases on 27 April 2018, CPS in its review report dated 21 April 2018 (“April 2018 Review Report”) applied for orders for the...

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