Children Protection and Welfare

Child means every human being under the age of eighteen years of age, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by the Republic of Cyprus with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Ratification) Law of 1990.

According to the legislation, the Director of Social Welfare Services undertakes the care and protection of children (parental responsibility), in cases where the parents abandon the child or are unable to perform their parental duties. Furthermore, the Refugee Law of 2000 designates the Director of Social Welfare Services as the guardian of a child who enters the Republic of Cyprus without a parent or legal guardian and has submitted an application for international protection.

By assuming the care of a child, the Director of Social Welfare Services undertakes to remove the child from the environment he or she is living in and to place him or her in a foster family (preferably relatives), if deemed appropriate, or in a child protection institution.

The reasons why children are moved from their home mainly concern serious risks in safeguarding their care and protection in their family environment. Living at their home may entail neglect, abuse, abandonment by parents or guardians, or poor parenting. However, it is noted that the removal of children from their natural parents is the last measure to be taken to ensure the protection of the child, and after all other efforts to support the family to keep their child with them have been exhausted. Placing a child under the care of the Director of the SWS is effected by a Court Order.

Cooperation with the natural parents is sought both before and after the removal of a child from his family, since the ultimate aim is to support the family, in order to eliminate the reasons which led to the removal, and to return the child to his or her family, as long as the best interest of the child is safeguarded.

The views of the children themselves are also taken into account at all times and in all procedures and also in the determination of their best interests.

Foster Families
Group of Children in a Forster Family
Children Privately Placed with Foster Families
Private Children’s Homes
Children Placed at Child Protection Institutions
Semi-Independent living

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