Children Act 2001
118.—(1) In this section—
“day centre” means a place to which subsection (2) applies;
“day centre order” means an order under subsection (5).
(2) For the purposes of this section the Minister shall provide or arrange for the provision of a sufficient number of places for use as day centres which shall be operated either by the probation and welfare service or by any body with the approval and assistance of that service.
(3) Before any place or part thereof may be used as a day centre, the F116 [ Director of the Probation and Welfare Service ] shall inspect it and, if he or she considers that the place is suitable for such use, certify in writing accordingly.
(4) A certificate under subsection (3) shall remain in force for not more than one year from the date of its issue, unless it is cancelled by the F116 [ Director of the Probation and Welfare Service ] before then on the ground that the place is no longer suitable for use as a day centre.
(5) ( a) A court may by order direct that a child shall attend at a specified day centre for the purpose of participating in an occupation or activity, or receiving instruction, which is suitable and beneficial for him or her.
( b) The child may participate in any such occupation or activity, or receive any such instruction, under supervision outside the day centre, and references in this section to attendance at a day centre include references to such participation or receiving outside it.
(6) The number of days a child shall be required to attend at a day centre pursuant to a day centre order shall be not more than 90, and attendance need not be on consecutive days.
(7) A child in respect of whom a day centre order has been made shall be under the supervision of a probation and welfare officer and while in attendance at a day centre shall be subject to the control, direction and supervision of the person in charge of the centre.
(8) A day centre order shall specify—
( a) the name and address of the day centre which the child shall be required to attend while the order is in force,
( b) the number of days that the child shall attend the centre,
( c) the period of time during which attendance at the centre is required, being a period not exceeding 6 months, and
( d) when and at what time the child is to report to the centre on the first occasion,
and it may specify—
(i) any programme of occupation, activity or instruction to be undertaken by the child,
(ii) such other matters with respect to the child’s attendance at the centre as the court determines, or
(iii) such of the conditions provided for in section 117 as the court considers necessary for helping to improve the child’s behaviour and to prevent him or her from committing further offences.
(9) When deciding on the number of days that the child shall attend at the day centre the court, in addition to and without prejudice to any other consideration, shall have regard to the child’s age.
(10) A day centre order shall not be made unless the court is satisfied that the day centre to be specified in it is reasonably accessible to the child concerned or that arrangements can be made for the child’s attendance at the centre, having regard to the child’s age and sex, the means of access available to him or her and any other relevant circumstances.
(11) ( a) The times at which a child is required to attend at a day centre shall, as far as practicable, be such as to avoid interference with any training the child is receiving, any attendance at a school or other educational establishment or any employment.
( b) The first of those times shall be a time at which the centre is available for the attendance of the child, and the subsequent days and times shall be fixed by the person in charge of the day centre, having regard to the child’s circumstances and the terms of the day centre order, without prejudice to the power of the court to direct that, as far as practicable, some of those times shall coincide with a specific event which it considers the child, for whatever reason, should refrain from taking part in or being present at.
(12) The person in charge of a day centre may, for good reason, excuse a child from attendance at the centre on a particular occasion or occasions.
(13) A child shall not, subject to subsection (14), be required to attend at a day centre on more than one occasion on any day or for more than 8 hours on any one day.
(14) Where the child participates in any occupation or activity, or receives any instruction, under supervision outside the day centre, subsection (13) shall not apply, and, where any such occupation, activity or instruction continues over more than one day, each such day shall count towards the number of days that the court has specified that the child shall attend at the centre.
(15) The person in charge of a day centre shall inform in writing the parent or guardian of the child of the days and times which the person in charge has fixed for the attendance of the child at the centre but in any case where a particular occupation, activity or instruction is arranged at short notice he or she may inform the parent or guardian orally.
(16) For the purpose of providing day centres the Minister may make arrangements, in agreement with any other Minister or any body, authority or person concerned, for the use of any premises, facilities or programmes provided by that Minister, body, authority or person.
(17) A day centre provided pursuant to arrangements made under subsection (16) may not necessarily—
( a) be called a day centre even though it is a day centre for the purposes of this section, or
( b) cater exclusively for children who have been found guilty of having committed offences.
(18) The probation and welfare service shall send a list of the day centres for the time being available for the reception of children to the President of the High Court, the President of the Circuit Court and the President of the District Court.
(19) On making a day centre order the court shall cause certified copies of the order to be sent to—
( a) in case the order was not made by a judge of a court having jurisdiction in the district of residence, such a judge,
( b) the person in charge of the day centre concerned,
( c) the probation and welfare officer who is supervising the child, and
( d) the parents or guardian of the child (or, if the child is married, his or her spouse) or, as appropriate, another adult in whose residence the child is residing while the order is in force.
(20) The person in charge of the day centre shall give a copy of the day centre order to the child.