Updates regarding supervised access for minors

Mr Justice Anthony Vella has issued a court decree deciding that supervised access and monitoring of minors regulated by the courts will go back to the way access was handled prior to Covid-19, a government statement has read.

The Court's decision came after the Family Ministry, together with the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) and the Directorate for Alternative Care conducted their own verifications with the Health Authorities and were given new guidelines in terms of how access needs to take place.

The Directorate's workers will be ensuring that the concerned parties will conform with the social distancing regulations.

The Court decision also recommended that every person that will be present during access, including children over the age of 6, will wear a mask or a visor. Hand sanitiser will also be provided.

In order to avoid the grouping of people in one spot during access, open areas like public gardens and other FSWS areas around the islands will be used.

Children who live in different residences will not be meeting physically for the time being, however the access time with parents will be divided so that they will still see their children, according to the circumstances.

Children under a care order who have home visits in private homes or sleepovers, and where these children are living with foster carers or in residential homes, access will occur in the open until the place where access normally takes place be approved as one which is adequate by the directorate.

Access will also only be for biological parents and grandparents.

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