Children Act 1908

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1908 c. 67


Children Act, 1908

(8 Edw. 7.) CHAPTER 67.

An Act to consolidate and amend the Law relating to the Protection of Children and Young Persons, Reformatory and Industrial Schools, and Juvenile Offenders, and otherwise to amend the Law with respect to Children and Young Persons.

[21st December 1908]

B e it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

I Infant Life Protection.

Part I.

Infant Life Protection.

S-1 Notices to be given by persons receiving infants for reward.

1 Notices to be given by persons receiving infants for reward.

(1) Where a person undertakes for reward the nursing and maintenance of one or more infants under the age of seven years apart from their parents or having no parents, he shall, within forty-eight hours from the reception of any such infant, give notice in writing thereof to the local authority:

Provided that this section shall not apply, as respects any infant, where the period for which it is received is forty-eight hours or less.

(2) Where a person undertakes for reward the nursing and maintenance of an infant already in his care without reward, the entering into the undertaking shall, for the purposes of this Part of this Act, be treated as a reception of the infant.

(3) The notice shall state the name, sex, and date and place of birth of the infant, the name of the person receiving the infant, and the dwelling within which the infant is being kept, and the name and address of the person from whom the infant has been received.

(4) If a person who has undertaken the nursing and maintenance of any such infant changes his residence, he shall within forty-eight hours thereof give to the local authority notice in writing of the change, and, where the residence to which he moves is situate in the district of another local authority, he shall give to that local authority the like notice as respects each infant in his care as he is by this section required to give on the first reception of the infant.

(5) If any such infant dies or is removed from the care of the person who has undertaken its nursing and maintenance, that person shall, within forty-eight hours thereof, give to the local authority notice in writing of the death or removal, and in the latter case also of the name and address of the person to whose care the infant has been transferred.

(6) Where at the commencement of this Act any infant is under the care of any person who has, before the commencement of this Act, undertaken its nursing and maintenance under such circumstances that if its nursing and maintenance had been undertaken after the commencement of this Act he would have been required to give notice to the local authority under this section, he shall, within one month after the commencement of this Act, give to the local authority the like notice as if the nursing and maintenance of the infant had been undertaken after the commencement of this Act:

Provided that nothing in this subsection—

( a ) shall apply to any person who on the reception of an infant gave such notice as was required by the Infant Life Protection Act, 1897 ; or

( b ) shall exempt any person who ought to have given notice under that Act from any liability which he may have incurred thereunder.

Subject as aforesaid, this Part of this Act shall apply to an infant whose nursing and maintenance has been undertaken for reward before the passing of this Act in like manner as it applies to an infant whose nursing and maintenance has been so undertaken after the commencement of this Act, and as if any notice given under the Infant Life Protection Act, 1897, had been a notice given under this Part of this Act.

(7) If any person required to give a notice under this section fails to give the notice within the time specified for giving the notice, he shall be guilty of an offence under this Part of this Act, and, if the infant in respect of which notice ought to have been given was an infant the consideration for whose nursing and maintenance consisted in whole or in part of a lump sum, the person failing to give the notice shall, in addition to any other penalty under this Part of this Act, be liable to forfeit that sum or such less sum as the court having cognizance of the case may deem just, and the sum forfeited shall be applied for the benefit of the infant in such manner as the court may direct, and where any such sum is ordered to be forfeited the order may be enforced as if it were an order of the court made on complaint.

S-2 Appointment and powers of inspectors, &c.

2 Appointment and powers of inspectors, &c.

(1) It shall be the duty of every local authority to provide for the execution of this Part of this Act within their district, and for that purpose they shall from time to time make inquiry whether there are any persons residing therein who undertake the nursing and maintenance of infants in respect of whom notice is required to be given under the foregoing section.

(2) If in the district of any local authority any persons are found to undertake the nursing and maintenance of such infants as aforesaid, the local authority shall appoint one or more persons of either sex to be infant protection visitors, whose duty it shall be from time to time to visit any infants referred to in any notice given under this Part of this Act, and the premises in which they are kept, in order to satisfy themselves as to the proper nursing and maintenance of the infants or to give any necessary advice or directions as to their nursing and maintenance:

Provided that the local authority may, either in addition to or in lieu of appointing infant protection visitors, authorise in writing one or more suitable persons of either sex to exercise the powers of infant protection visitors under this Part of this Act, subject to such terms and conditions as may be stated in the authorisation, and, where any infants have been placed out to nurse in the district of the authority by any philanthropic society, may, if satisfied that the interests of the infants are properly safeguarded, so authorise the society to exercise those powers as respects those infants, subject, however, to the obligation to furnish periodical reports to the local authority.

(3) A local authority may combine with any other local authority for the purpose of executing the provisions of this Part of this Act, and for defraying the expenses thereof.

(4) A local authority may exempt from being visited, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as they think fit, any particular premises within their district which appear to them to be so conducted that it is unnecessary that they should be visited.

(5) If any person undertaking the nursing and maintenance of any such infants refuses to allow any such visitor or other person to visit or examine the infants or the premises in which they are kept, he shall be guilty of an offence under this Part of this Act.

(6) If any such visitor or other person is refused admittance to any premises in contravention of this Part of this Act, or has reason to believe that any infants under the age of seven years are being kept in any house or premises in contravention of this Part of this Act, he may apply to a justice, who, on being satisfied, on information in writing on oath, that there is reasonable ground for believing that an offence under this Part of this Act has been committed, may grant a warrant authorising the visitor or other person to enter the premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether any offence under this Part of this Act has been committed, and, if the occupier of the premises or any other person obstructs or causes or procures to be obstructed any visitor or other person acting in pursuance of such a warrant, he shall be guilty of an offence under this Part of this Act.

S-3 Persons prohibited from receiving children for reward.

3 Persons prohibited from receiving children for reward.

An infant, in respect of which notice is required to be given under this Part of this Act, shall not, without the written sanction of the local authority, be kept—

a ) by any person from whose care any infant has been removed under this Part of this Act or the Infant Life Protection Act, 1897; or
b ) in any premises from which any infant has been removed under this Part of this Act by reason of the premises being dangerous or insanitary, or has been removed under the Infant Life Protection Act, 1897, by reason of the premises being so unfit as to endanger its health; or
c ) by any person who has been convicted of any offence under Part II. of this Act or under the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1904;

and any person keeping or causing to be kept an infant contrary to this section shall be guilty of an offence under this Part of this Act.

S-4 Local authority to fix number of infants which may be retained.

4 Local authority to fix number of infants which may be retained.

The local authority may fix the number of infants under the age of seven years which may be kept in any dwelling in respect of which a notice has been received under this Part of this Act, and any person keeping any infant in excess of the number so fixed shall be guilty of an offence under this Part of this Act.

S-5 Removal of infant improperly kept.

5 Removal of infant improperly kept.

(1) If any infant, in respect of which notice is required to be given under this Part of this Act is kept,—

( a ) in any premises which are overcrowded, dangerous or insanitary; or

( b ) by any person who, by reason of negligence, ignorance, inebriety, immorality, criminal conduct, or other similar cause, is unfit to have care of it; or

( c ) by any person or in any premises in contravention of any of the...

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