Father of GFD v Child Protector

CourtYouth Court (Singapore)
JudgeWendy Yu
Judgment Date01 December 2022
Neutral Citation[2023] SGYC 1
Citation[2023] SGYC 1
Docket NumberYouth Court Appeal, YA 003/2022/01, Case No. CPO 000162-2022
Hearing Date01 December 2022
Plaintiff CounselMr P,
Defendant CounselParents in person
Subject MatterChildren and Young Persons Act,Care and Protection Orders
Published date21 January 2023
District Judge Wendy Yu: Introduction

This appeal is brought by the Father, Mr L (“the Father”) of the child, GFD (“the Child”), female, born on 14 January 2013 against the interim orders made by this Court on 1 December 2022 pursuant to an application brought by Child Protective Service (“CPS”), Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore (“MSF”) under Section 54 of the Children and Young Persons Act, Cap 38 (“CYPA”) for a care and protection order (“the Application”). The mother of the Child, Mdm S (“the Mother”), had expressed her agreement to the making of orders as per the recommendations of CPS at the hearing on 1 December 2022.The orders are set out as follows: [The Child] is committed to a Place of Safety, namely Marymount Centre Ahuva Good Shepherd Interim Placement and Assessment Centre, or any other Place of Safety as may be determined by the Director-General or a Protector until 9 January 2023, with effect from 1 December 2022, under s54(1)(b)(i); [The Father] and [The Mother] to comply with the following conditions, under section 54(8) of the CYPA: [The Mother] and [The Father] will not perform any act that will compromise the safety and well-being of [the Child]; [The Child]’s contacts with [The Father] and any significant others to be subject to the approval and review of the Approved Welfare Officer; [The Mother] to attend and participate in individual interviews, discuss safety plans and caregiving arrangements with the Approved Welfare Officer to ensure the safety and well-being of [the Child]; The Approved Welfare Officer or any other personnel from the schools or social service agencies involved shall be allowed to conduct announced/unannounced visits and/or video/phone calls to ensure the safety and well-being of [the Child] Medical professionals to release the medical reports of [the Mother], [the Father] and [the Child] to the Approved Welfare Officer under section 54(14), [The Mother], [The Father] and [the Child] to be required to undergo any counselling/psychotherapy/assessment/programme/treatment as deemed necessary by the Approved Welfare Officer, and the parents shall execute a bond of $1,000.00 each to comply with the order under Section 60(2), in accordance with Section 60(5) of the CYPA.

I will now set out the grounds for the Interim Orders.


CPS, through the child protection officer, Mr P (“the CPO”) took out the application in this Court on 1 December 2022. Both parents were acting in person at the hearing on 1 December 2022.

As a matter of background, the Father had filed for divorce back on 10 June 20161 and Final Judgment for the divorce was granted on 30 March 2017. At the hearing on 1 December 2022, CPS had informed the Court that there was a recent order on 27 October 2022 made by DJ Toh Wee San2 in current custody proceedings, on the variation of the arrangement for care and control and access. DJ Toh had ordered that: the supervised access for the Mother and the Child be suspended; The Mother shall have care and control over the Child and to do so, the Mother shall inform the Father in writing on the date, time and venue for the Father to handover the Child to her; The Father shall have no access to the Child for the next 12 weeks and/or until the completion of the psychological assessment on the Child’s readiness to resume access, whichever is the latter.

After hearing the parents and CPS, I had made directions for a social report to be prepared by CPS to be presented to the Court on 9 January 2023 and had passed the interim orders (as stated at paragraph 1 above) to be in place, pending the preparation of the social report.

The Child Protector’s position

CPS brought the Application via a complaint dated 1 December 2022 (“the Complaint”). In the Complaint it was stated that the grounds for the Application was under Section 5(1)(e), Section 5(1)(g) and Section 5(1)(d)(i) of the CYPA. CPS had also made a request for the Court to direct that the Child to be brought to the hearing in order for CPS to sight the Child.

The Complaint

In CPS’s complaint3, it is stated that CPS has observed that the Father has refused to have the Child to be examined or treated. CPS has stated in the Complaint4 that the Child had not attended school from February 2022 till 9 May 2022 and the school had to conduct a home visit in April 2022 to check on her well-being. CPS had also stated5 in the Complaint that the Child’s psychological and emotional well-being had appeared to have deteriorated further following the order for the reversal of the Child’s care and control to the Mother on 14 September 2022. CPS has also highlighted6 that the Father had not complied with a Protector’s Order issued on 19 November 2022 under Section 10 of the CYPA for him to produce the Child for assessment in view of concerns over her psychological well-being, by refusing the exercise his parental authority to override the Child’s resistance towards the assessment.

CPS has also stated7 that professionals have highlighted concerns over the Child being triangulated by the Father in ongoing custody proceedings, including allegations that the Father had disclosed to the Child court affidavits and private emails sent by the Mother regarding the Child.

In CPS’s application8 they have also relied on Section 5(1)(d)(i) of the CYPA and have stated in their complaint that they have received reports from the school about their concerns on poor boundaries between Father and Child, including allegations of the Father lying in the same bed with the Child when she was in Primary One and being kissed “all over her face while tickling her”.9

In CPS’s assessment10, they have raised concerns about the “unhealthy enmeshed dynamics in the relationship” between the Father and the Child, in particular “his subversive influence on the Child and the concerns over inappropriate boundaries between them”. CPS has requested for the Court’s intervention as they are of the view that such intervention is necessary to mandate that the...

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