Information for adults

The social-legal protection body is part of the Social Affairs Department of the Municipal Office of Říčany. Social-legal protection means ensuring the right of the child to life, to his/her favourable development, to parental care and family life, to the child’s identity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, to education, employment, and also includes the protection of the child from any physical or mental violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation.

The protection of the child and ensuring his or her rights is reflected in legislation in the areas of family law, social law, education, health, taxation, civil law, criminal law and in many international documents, especially the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Thus, within the meaning of these documents, the child needs special safeguards, care and adequate legal protection before and after birth because of his or her physical and mental immaturity.

What is meant by socio-legal protection is specifically expressed in Act No. 359/1999 Coll. on social-legal protection of children, as amended. Social-legal protection of children is defined by law as :

  • protecting the child’s right to a favourable development and proper upbringing,
  • protecting the legitimate interests of the child, including the protection of his or her assets,
  • action aimed at restoring disrupted family functions,
  • providing an alternative family environment for a child who cannot be permanently or temporarily brought up in his or her own family.

The primary consideration in the provision of social protection is the best interests, benefit and welfare of children, the protection of parenthood and the family and the mutual right of parents and children to parental education and care. The child’s wider social environment is also taken into account. Any interference with privacy and family life is only possible if the parents or other persons responsible for education request it, if the child requests it, or if there are facts indicating that the child is at risk.

Social protection is provided free of charge to all children under the age of 18, unless they have reached the age of majority earlier.

Activities carried out by the social-legal protection of children (hereinafter referred to as OSPOD) of the Municipality of Říčany:

Consulting activities

  • assists parents in solving educational or other problems related to the care of the child, provides or mediates advice to parents in the upbringing and education of the child and in the care of a disabled child,
  • provides assistance in enforcing a child’s right to maintenance and in enforcing child support obligations, including assistance in filing petitions concerning the child in court,
  • after the placement of the child in a facility for the performance of institutional education or in a facility for children in need of immediate assistance, provides assistance to the parents, consisting in particular in the arrangement of their family situation to enable the child’s return to the family,
  • provides assistance and protection to children who ask for help without their parents’ knowledge in protecting their lives, rights and legitimate interests.

Educational measures

If the interest in the proper upbringing of the child so requires , it may impose in administrative proceedings:

  • admonition of the child, parents, other persons responsible for education,
  • supervision of the child and carry it out with the cooperation of other institutions,
  • restrictions to prevent harmful influences on the child’s upbringing,
  • the obligation to use professional counselling assistance if the parents themselves have not provided the child with professional assistance even on the recommendation of the OSPOD, although the child is in urgent need of it.

Child protection measures

The social welfare authority may take the case to court:

  • to limit or remove parental responsibility or suspend its exercise,
  • for the ordering of institutional education, its extension or abolition,
  • to place the child in the care of a facility for children in need of immediate assistance, to extend the duration of this placement and to revoke the decision to place the child in this facility,
  • to order an educational measure,
  • an application for an interim measure if the child is without any care or if his or her life or favourable development is seriously endangered or impaired.

Before filing the above-mentioned petitions, the social welfare authority shall discuss with the parents or other persons responsible for upbringing the reasons for which the petition is filed, and shall inform them of their rights and obligations arising from parental responsibility, if the parents are available. This does not apply to an application for an interim measure, where action must be taken without delay.

Care for children requiring special attention

It is ensured through curators for children and youth who implement measures to eliminate, mitigate or prevent the aggravation or recurrence of disorders in the psychological, physical or social development of the child, namely:

  • propose preventive measures to avoid the emergence of socially pathological phenomena,
  • participates in misdemeanour and criminal proceedings against a juvenile,
  • visit children who have been ordered into institutional or protective education due to serious educational problems, and at the same time visit the parents of these children,
  • help children after their release from institutional or protective education and provide assistance in their reintegration into the family and social environment.

Alternative family care – adoption, foster care and guardianship

It is provided to children without a family or to children who cannot be brought up in their own family for various reasons. It gives children the opportunity to grow up in a natural family environment.

  • The OSPOD petitions the court for a decision on the fulfilment of the adoption condition that the parents are not interested in the child,
  • The OSPOD submits a proposal to place the child in foster care for a temporary period and to terminate it,
  • The OSPOD provides persons suitable to become adoptive parents or foster parents with counselling assistance related to the adoption of a child or the placement of a child in foster care, in particular on child rearing issues,
  • accepts applications for inclusion in the register of applicants for mediation of adoption, foster care and foster care for a temporary period,
  • concludes an “Agreement on the performance of foster care” with persons in care and with persons of record,
  • monitors the development of children entrusted to foster care and the implementation of the “Foster Care Agreement”,
  • provides psychological, therapeutic or other professional help to children and caregivers.

Other OSPOD activities

  • organizes case conferences to address specific situations of children and families at risk,
  • is entitled to visit the child and the family in which he or she lives and to find out in the place of residence, in school establishments or in other settings where the child is staying how the child is being cared for by his or her parents, in what social conditions the child lives and what behaviour the child has,
  • monitors compliance with the rights of the child in health care and school facilities for the performance of institutional education and in social care facilities where the child is temporarily placed,
  • receives notifications from natural and legal persons concerning suspected threats to the healthy development of a child, which are subsequently investigated,
  • acts as a conflict guardian for children whom he represents in court proceedings,
  • cooperates in the interests of children with school and health care institutions, institutions for the performance of institutional education, courts, professional institutions, social service providers, probation and mediation services, labour offices, non-profit and other organisations,
  • carries out other activities related to the agenda of social-legal protection of children as required by the Act on Social and Legal Protection of Children and other legal regulations.

Within the framework of the exercise of social-legal protection, the OSPOD is obliged to maintain confidentiality about the facts with which it becomes acquainted in the course of its activities.