GLSBanner3

The role of Crown Counsel (Child Protection) is one which was newly created in 2013 to respond to the need for specialised legal advice and advocacy in this area of law.

The Children Ordinance 2014 commenced on 31st October 2014 and has modernised the laws of the Falkland Islands in relation to the protection of children. Further legal updates and regulations under the ordinance are under consideration.

This Ordinance has seen the introduction of elements of law not previously covered, for instance the provision for children in need of support and assistance and their families (Part 3 of the Ordinance), which enables intervention to try to divert families from crisis and possible care proceedings, new provisions relating to children who live away from home in private arrangements made by families themselves (Part 6 of the Ordinance) called Hosting and Private Boarding and new requirements for the role and functions of the Falkland Islands Safeguarding Children Board (FISCB) to be placed on a statutory footing (Part 7).

Crown Counsel (Child Protection) works with the Social Work Department and other Falkland Islands Government departments to ensure that the Falkland Islands Safeguarding Children and Young People Procedures are up to date and compatible with legal changes. The FISCB approves any changes.

These Procedures contain guidance on how all government, voluntary and private organisations or businesses which work with children must refer information to the Social Work Department when they are concerned that a child might be being abused or neglected. Crown Counsel (Child Protection) works with the Royal Falkland Islands Police, Health and Social Work Department and Education Department to share information appropriately and ensure that allegations are investigated and children can be protected.

In addition, the UK government guidance document Working Together 2013 has been adopted as supplementary guidance for those who work with children or investigate allegations in the Falkland Islands.

Crown Counsel (Child Protection) is involved in formulating and fulfilling the action plan for the FISCB, which includes a programme of multi-agency training for all relevant professionals and workers who wish to access it.