What can a children's judge do to protect a child in danger?

Verified 08 February 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The children's judge can take educational assistance measures (follow-up and family support measure, placement measure) to protect a minor in danger. In principle, intervention is requested by the minor or by the adults responsible (parents, guardian, foster family, etc.). However, if the situation so requires, the judge may act on his own initiative.

The intervention of the judge must be requested when one of the serious risks the following is the burden on the minor:

  • His physical health
  • Mental or psychological health (behavioral disorders...)
  • Its material security (precarious housing...)
  • Its morality (exposure to delinquency...)
  • His upbringing

The following persons may appeal to the juvenile judge:

  • Child himself
  • Parents of the child acting together, or one acting alone
  • Guardian or foster family of the minor or any other person in charge of the child
  • Social Welfare for Children (Ase) or any other service with responsibility for children
  • Public Prosecutor, who is usually notified by the department or by any official who is a witness to an offense committed against or by the child


in exceptional cases, the judge may decide on an educational assistance measure of his own accord.

The request for intervention of the juvenile judge must be made via a request to the court of the domicile of the parents or foster family, the guardian or any other person or service having the child's care.

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Please note

if there are several children from the same family living in different places, the case will be centralized withonly one children's judge.

The judge may take follow-up and family support measures and/or placement measures.

Follow-up and family support measures

The Juvenile Judge shall, as far as possible, keep the child in the family. He then appoints a qualified person or a specialized service to help the family.

The specialized service will set up social and educational support for the family to ensure the child's health, safety and education. The latter can also benefit from psychological support.

When the child is followed by a specialized service, he can be accommodated there on an exceptional or periodic basis (1 week per month for example).

The judge may make the child or his or her parents subject to certain obligations. They may include the following:

  • Attend school (be enrolled in a health or educational institution, including boarding school)
  • To pursue a professional activity by the child, if he or she is of working age
  • Observe psychological or medical follow-up

If the child is followed by a specialized service, the measurement may last Maximum 2 years, renewable once.

If the child is followed by a qualified person, there is no no maximum duration.

Investment measures

The children's judge may decide on a investment measure in the most serious cases.

This measure does not withdraw parental authority to the child's parents.

Such measures shall be fixed for a period of Maximum 2 years, renewable once.

However, it is possible that the measures may be ordered for a longer period if the family situation so requires.

Parents may be granted access.

The costs incurred in the care of the minor must be paid by the parents, unless the judge decides otherwise.

The children's judge can change the educational assistance measures himself.

However, the amendment may also be requested by:

  • Child himself
  • Parents, acting together or separately, or the child's guardian
  • Person or department to whom the child has been entrusted
  • Public Prosecutor

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