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Inquiry and Orders

Inquiry and Orders
Inquiry and Orders



Section 36: Inquiry

Upon the presentation of a child or the receipt of a report as per Section 31, the Committee conducts an inquiry according to prescribed procedures. Based on its own assessment or reports from authorized individuals or agencies mentioned in Section 31(2), the Committee may issue an order to place the child in a children’s home, a suitable facility, or with a fit person. Additionally, it may initiate a prompt social investigation conducted by a social worker, Child Welfare Officer, or Child Welfare Police Officer.

  • Children below six years old who are orphaned, surrendered, or seem abandoned are prioritized for placement in a Specialized Adoption Agency if available.

The social investigation must be concluded within fifteen days to facilitate the Committee's final decision within four months of the child's initial presentation.

  • For orphaned, abandoned, or surrendered children, the inquiry timeframe is as specified in Section 38.

Following the inquiry, if the Committee determines that the child lacks family or adequate support and requires ongoing care and protection, it may place the child in a Specialized Adoption Agency (if under six years old), a children’s home, a suitable facility, with a fit person, or with a foster family until suitable rehabilitation arrangements are made or until the child turns eighteen.

  • The situation of children placed in various care arrangements is periodically reviewed by the Committee as prescribed.

  1. The Committee submits quarterly reports on case dispositions and pending cases to the District Magistrate for review.

  2. After review, the District Magistrate directs the Committee to take necessary actions to address pending cases. The State Government may establish additional Committees if necessary, if the backlog persists.

  • If the backlog remains unaddressed even after three months of receiving such directions, the State Government terminates the existing Committee and forms a new one.

In anticipation of Committee termination and to minimize downtime in forming a new Committee, the State Government maintains a roster of eligible individuals for Committee membership.

In case of delays in forming a new Committee under subsection (5), the Child Welfare Committee of a nearby district temporarily assumes responsibility.


Orders passed regarding a child in need of care and protection

Section 37: Orders regarding a child in need of care and protection

Upon conducting an inquiry and being satisfied that the child is in need of care and protection, the Committee may issue one or more of the following orders, taking into account the Social Investigation Report and considering the child’s wishes if they are mature enough to express them:

  • Declaration of the child as in need of care and protection.

  • Returning the child to their parents, guardian, or family, with or without the supervision of a Child Welfare Officer or designated social worker.

  • Placement of the child in a Children’s Home, fit facility, or Specialized Adoption Agency for long-term or temporary care, especially if the family cannot be located or if returning the child to the family is not in their best interest.

  • Placement of the child with a fit person for long-term or temporary care.

  • Issuance of foster care orders as per Section 44.

  • Implementation of sponsorship orders as per Section 45.

  • Issuance of directives to individuals or institutions responsible for the child's care, protection, and rehabilitation. These directives may include providing immediate shelter, medical attention, psychological support, counseling, therapy, skill training, legal aid, educational services, and other developmental activities, as well as ensuring follow-up and coordination with the District Child Protection Unit or State Government and other relevant agencies.

  • Declaration of the child as legally free for adoption under Section 38.

Additionally, the Committee may issue orders for:

  • Declaring fit persons for foster care.

  • Providing aftercare support as per Section 46 of the Act.

  • Any other order related to prescribed functions.


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