Child Abuse
Post-Management for Victimized Children, Etc.
Leaving the Child Protection Facility, Etc. and Extension of the Protection Period
- Suppose the child subject to protection turned 18 while being protected or the protection purpose is deemed to have been achieved. In this case, the mayor, governor, and head of Si/Gun/Gu shall terminate the child’s protection measures or have him/her leave the child protection facility (Article 16, paragraph 1 of the Child Welfare Act).
- Extension of the Protection Period
·Ifthe Mayor/Do Governor or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu intends to extend the protectivemeasure for children subject to protection who have reached 18 years of age,he/she shall extend the protection period to expire when the children reach 25 yearsof age (Article 16-3(1) of the Child Welfare Act).
· The Mayor/Do Governor or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu shall endtaking the protective measure when a person whose protection period has beenextended as above requests the protective measure to come to an end: provided,that, in any of the following circumstances where it is necessary to extend theprotection period as the person lacks the ability to become independent, theperiod may not be terminated after deliberation by the Deliberation Committee(Article 16-3(2) of the Child Welfare Act and Article 22-1 of the EnforcementDecree of the Child Welfare Act).
√ Where the Mayor/Do Governor or the head of aSi/Gun/Gu deems it necessary to extend the protection period due to disability,disease, etc.
√ Where the child’s intellectual ability fallswithin the category prescribed by the Minister of Health and Welfare
· If the child whoseprotection period has been extended falls under any of the following circumstances, the Mayor/DoGovernor, the head of a Si/Gun/Gu, or the head of the child welfare facilitymay additionally extend the child’sprotection period (Article 16-3(3) of theChild Welfare Act and Article 22(2) of theEnforcement Decree of the Child Welfare Act).
√ If the person attends a school at a lower level than college (excluding graduate school)
√ If the person receives vocational courses or training in vocational capacity development training facilities
√Where the Mayor/Do Governor or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu deems it necessary toadditionally extend the protection period due to disability, disease, etc.
√Where the person whose protection period has been extended lacks theability to become independent as he/she falls under the category prescribed bythe Minister and Health and Welfare
√Where the person whose protection period has been extended due to job-seekingactivities, etc. requests an additional extension of the protection period andhas it extended for up to 1 year
Check for Recurrence of Abuse
- Even after theconclusion of the child abuse case, the head of the National Center for theRights of the Child (NCRC) or a specialized child protection institution shallcheck whether the assailant committed abuse again through visits to thevictim’s home, phone calls, etc. (Article 28(1) ofthe Child Welfare Act).
Support for Victimized Children and Families
- To secure the child’s safety, prevent recurrence of abuse, and maintain a sound family, the head of the NCRC or a specialized child protection institution shall provide the victim and victim’s family, including his/her guardians, necessary support, such as counseling, education, and medical/psychological treatment (Article 29, paragraph 1 of the Child Welfare Act).
- A Mayor/Do Governor or thehead of a Si/Gun/Gu shall require related public officials,including child welfare officials, and private specialists to visit the homes of children subject to protection who havereturned to their families due to the cessation of protective measures, andprovide guidance and management necessary for thepromotion of welfare of the relevant children(Article 16-2 of the Child Welfare Act).
- Legal Assistance by Assigning an Assistant, Etc.
· During the hearing of the trial in court, the attorney, legal representative, lineal relative, sibling, or public official specializing in child abuse, or counselor of the NCRC or a specialized child protection institution under Article 22, paragraph 4 of the Child Welfare Act may be assigned as an assistant for the child abuse case (main text of Article 21, paragraph 1 of the Child Welfare Act).
· However, persons apart from the attorney shall obtain the court’s permission (Condition of Article 21, paragraph 1 of the Child Welfare Act).
· If interrogating the victimized child as the witness, the court may permit a person the victim trusts for accompaniment, if requested by the victim, NCRC, or a specialized child protection institution (Article 21, paragraph 2 of the Child Welfare Act).
· The assistant may also be assigned for accompaniment when the investigation institution interrogates the victimized child (Article 21, paragraph 3 of the Child Welfare Act).
※ Basic Principles of Child Protection Services
1. Considering the Child’s Benefits as the Top Priority
- The child’s benefit shall be considered the top priority during the entire child protection process, from counseling the child to determining protective measures.
- “Urgency” and “timing” are the most significant factors in child protection. For children who need urgent protection, “protection measures shall precede administrative measures” as a rule (unless inevitable reasons exist, the child shall be protected immediately as a rule)
2. Utmost Effort to Maintain Original Family Members
- Utmost efforts shall be put into maintaining the victim’s original family, because most children’s benefits are satisfied the most when growing up in the original family.
- To protect the child in his/her original family, the local government shall endeavor to find blind zones for the vulnerable child (family) and prevent family disorganization through counseling, welfare, benefits, service linkage support, etc.
· Even if the guardian intends to adopt or send the child to a child welfare facility, it shall be considered whether the child could be protected in his/her original family before taking the child to an institution or adoption agency. However, if possible, utmost effort shall be put into keeping the child protected in his/her original home (service linkage support, etc.).
- If possible, the child shall be kept away from his/her family only for a minimum period temporarily, and the decision for the child’s separation shell be checked periodically.
3. Home-Like Protection First Principle
- Where children are inevitably segregated for their ownprotection, it is necessary to determine an alternative parenting styledesigned to limit children's rights and freedoms to a minimum extent on accountof the individual characteristics and circumstances of children.
- In other words, in determining the type of segregated protection,adoption and foster care should be prioritized to ensure the children grow upin a home-like environment, and where it is necessary to provide facilityprotection, the community living homes should be given priority.
4. Activatingthe Child and Guardian to Participate
- The child’s opinion shall be respected when fulfilling protective measures, and support shall be provided during the entire protection process, from consulting the child and guardian, establishing protective plans, and protecting the child.
· However, according to Article 15, paragraph 5 of the Child Welfare Act, the guardian’s opinion may not be respected if he/she is a child abuse assailant according to the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment Etc. of Child Abuse Crimes.
- After protective measures are taken for the child, the child and guardian must keep in touch
5. Precautionary Approach (provision of integrative services)
- The reason for abuse to children in vulnerable households are generally related to poverty, illness, divorce, or some other multiplicative factor
- Therefore, when requested to take protective measures for children in vulnerable households, a more in-depth approach shall be taken, such as case management through a comprehensive assessment of the degree of danger the child and household is situated in. Afterward, benefits and services shall be provided accordingly, rather than simply providing benefits upon application.
- Through utilization of big data open for the public, an e-child happiness support system must be established to prevent the child from danger and provide various types of data on vulnerable classes in welfare blind zones (power failure, outage, gas cuts, social insurance fee default, etc.), child abuse, students not receiving compulsory education, long-term absence, and other data.
6. Maximize Consideration of Consumer Convenience
- Suppose the children (household) subject to protection were discovered through the guardian’s application or discovery of blind zones. In this case, the person in charge shall visit the household in person or hold a comprehensive consultation to keep the guardian from visiting the Eup/Myeon/Dong (or Si//Gun/Gu) to the greatest extent possible.
- If consultation is required multiple times inevitably to protect the child, procedures must be informed to guardians, etc., in advance, and the place and time for counseling shall be favorable to the guardian to the greatest extent possible.
- During protective measures, the person in charge shall ensure that the child stays in touch and support the child’s reunion with his/her original family afterward. Moreover, the child shall be protected in an environment most similar to his/her original home to keep the child’s livelihood as intact as possible.
<Ministry of Health and Welfare, National Center for the Rights of the Child (NCRC) 2021 Manual for Child Protection Services>