MPs want to amend Child Protection Act

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Herald Reporter

Legislators want the Child Protection Act amended to raise from 18 to 22 years the age at which children living in care facilities should be discharged, legislators have said.

Members of Parliament have noted that the current age of 18 years upon which children living in homes should be discharged created uncertainty as most of them would still be of school-going age.

This is contained in a recent report by Parliament’s portfolio committee on Public Service Labour and Social Welfare when it presented a report on a petition from National Residential Care Leavers Network Thrust. The organisation felt that there was a possible violation of rights of young adults on discharge from residential child care facilities.

“The Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare should expeditiously submit a Bill amending the Child Protection Act to Parliament by 31st August 2020. The Bill should clearly define the age and conditions under, which a child in residential care becomes eligible for discharge, amongst other key issues.

“The committee recommends an upwards review of the age of discharge from 18 to 22 years. In addition, the Bill should provide for establishment of half-way homes to accommodate these young adults post residential care until they can independently care for themselves,” reads the report.