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Child Protection (Alternative Care) Act


From: Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity
Published: 14 June 2018
Running till: 31 July 2018
​Last Updated: ​29 October 2018
Consultation Outcome: Final Report


1.        Background

This proposed legislation is considered as a breakthrough in the field of child protection. It does not only improve on existing laws (regulated by means of various pieces of legislation which will be abrogated and incorporated in this law), but is also innovative in various ways.

Current laws have been recently subjected to criticism and human rights’ cases, regarding matters ranging from the absence of a right of appeal to issues regarding unprofessionalism as to how child protection matters are handled.

All stakeholders have been duly consulted afresh and many of their proposals are now incorporated in this Act. In fact, one important aspect of this proposed legislation is that so far stakeholders have approved mainly of all its content.

Care and custody of minors in need of protection will no longer be entrusted in the hands of the Minister and as such the Minister will no longer be involved in the issuing of care orders. Government will no longer be directly or indirectly involved in such sensitive decisions. Decisions will be taken either by the Juvenile Court or by the Review Board, as the case may be. The Review Board will not only be consultative in nature as the current Children and Young Persons Advisory Board, but it will be tantamount to a quasi-judicial Board. 

This does not mean that the State will be completely divested from all responsibility in the case of children removed or separated from their parents and placed in out-home care. It shall remain responsible to take all appropriate measures to promote the well-being of children and to provide all the support services required, to ensure that children’s rights and interests, as safeguarded by this Act, are provided.

Emphasis has been placed on the voice of the child, and in fact, the law envisages various safeguards to ensure that the child’s opinion is heard. All this in conjunction with Children’s House model.

Once this proposed legislation comes into effect, children may have a stronger voice in issues which affect their lives. This Act intends to remedy a situation where the State literally interferes into the children’s wellbeing without there being the presence of a Court of Law, representing independence and impartiality, to assess the cases and cater for a care plan which will ultimately provide for the future of the children concerned. This Act also intends to bring the Maltese ‘care order’ system in line with judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Maltese Constitutional Court. Finally, the ‘best interest of the child’ notion is the leitmotiv guiding principle of this proposed piece of legislation.


2.        Documents
Interested parties can download the following:

Data Protection Statement the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act (Chapter 586)


The General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act Chapter 586 regulate the processing of personal data whether held electronically or in manual form. The Ministry for European Affairs and Equality collects only information which is necessary for it to perform its intended functions and is set to fully comply with the Data Protection Principles as set out in the Data Protection Legislation.  Verification of the ID number provided will take place as deemed necessary. All personal data provided will be processed according to the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act (Cap 586). 
In addition, please be aware of:
·         Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 496)
As we are a public authority all documents we hold, including documents related to this public consultation process, may be released following a request to us under the Freedom of Information Act (Chap. 496), unless such request may be subject of an exemption arising from the same Act.

​​Click on the 'Online Consultation' logo to go to the Public Consultations main page.

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Press Release No. 181349​
Issue date: 14 June 2018