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Before you apply

Before you apply, make sure you:

Who can apply

The following parties may apply for an order to protect a VA:

If the VA has the mental capacity to consent to the application

  • The VA themselves, if they are at least 21 years old.
  • The VA's family member who is at least 21 years old, with the VA's consent.

If the VA lacks the mental capacity to consent to the application

  • The VA's family member who is at least 21 years old.
  • The VA's donee or deputy.
    • A donee is a person who holds a Lasting Power of Attorney to make decisions on certain aspects of the VA's welfare, property and affairs.
    • A deputy is a person appointed by a court under the Mental Capacity Act to make certain decisions on behalf of the VA.

A family member must be related to the VA in one of the following ways:

  • Spouse.
  • Child (including adopted child or stepchild).
  • Parent or parent-in-law.
  • Brother or sister.
  • Grandparent.
  • Grandchild.
  • Any other individual whom the court may regard as a member of the VA’s family.

An applicant who is below 21 years old will need to act through a representative who is at least 21 years old. This representative must appoint a lawyer to file the application.

In some cases, an approved welfare officer (from a Protection Specialist Centre) or an officer from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) may apply for a protective order for a VA.

In these cases, the MSF officer may apply for additional types of orders. Examples of such orders include committing the VA to a place of temporary care and protection, or placing the VA under the supervision of an approved welfare officer.


If you file the application, you are the applicant (also known as the complainant).

The party against whom the application is filed is the respondent.

What you will need

What you will need to prepare for your application depends on who you are:

If you are a...

You should prepare...

VA (with mental capacity)

  • Your identity card or passport.
  • A medical report that shows your physical infirmity, disability or incapacity may be required.

Family member

  • Your identity card or passport.
  • Proof of your relationship with the VA.
  • (If the VA has physical infirmity, disability or incapacity) A medical report of the VA's condition may be required.
  • (If the VA does not lack mental capacity) Consent form signed by the VA, prepared according to Form 64F of the Family Justice Courts (FJC) Practice Directions.
  • (If VA lacks mental capacity) Mental Capacity Assessment Report signed by a registered medical practitioner, prepared according to Form 64A of the FJC Practice Directions.


  • Your identity card or passport.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney that appoints you as the VA's donee.
  • Mental Capacity Assessment Report signed by a registered medical practitioner, prepared according to Form 64A of the FJC Practice Directions.


  • Your identity card or passport.
  • Court order that appoints you as the VA's deputy.
  • Mental Capacity Assessment Report signed by a registered medical practitioner, prepared according to Form 64A of the FJC Practice Directions.

Where to apply

You may file an application at any of the following locations.

You may visit any of the following Protection Specialist Centres (PSC) or PAVE Integrated Services For Individual And Family Protection Specialist Centre (ISIFPSC) to apply in person:

How to apply

You will need to follow these steps to file your application:



1. File your application

Your application is filed with the Family Justice Courts (FJC).

2. Meet a court family specialist or social worker

You obtain information about the application process and your safety, and may be referred to support agencies, if required.

3. Meet the duty judge

The court accepts, rejects or dismisses your application.

Before you visit: submit documents online

You are encouraged to submit your draft application and documents online via the Integrated Family Application Management System (iFAMS) before visiting the FJC or the Protection Specialist Centres (PSC) or PAVE Integrated Services For Individual And Family Protection Specialist Centre (ISIFPSC). Doing so will mean less time spent processing your application at the FJC or authorised agencies.

Refer to the following steps:

  1. Log in to iFAMS. Under the Vulnerable Adults Act (VAA) application section, select Application for a VAA Protective Order.
  2. Fill in the online form.
  3. Save your work and choose whether you wish to verify your application at the FJC or an PSC.
    • You will have to bring the documents you are relying on to the FJC or PSC, so that they can be checked or filed together with your application, if required.

Note: For step-by-step instructions, refer to the iFAMS user guide for VAA protective order application (PDF, 1062 KB).

Visit one of the filing locations

Bring all the required documents to the FJC or one of the PSCs/PAVE ISIFPSC to file your application.

If you are filing at FJC, you will meet a court family specialist (CFS) for a one-to-one session. The session may take around 30 to 45 minutes (excluding waiting time).

If you are filing at one of the PSC/PAVE ISIFPSC, a social worker will guide you through the session instead.

During the session, the CFS or social worker will:

  • Provide you with the necessary information on the application process.
  • Cover issues with regard to your safety.
  • Assess your needs.
    • (If required) The CFS or social worker may refer you to community and support agencies.

How the session is conducted

In most circumstances, the session will involve the CFS or social worker speaking to you. If required, a support person such as a family member may be involved in the session.

During the session, it will be helpful for you to:

  • Share openly with the CFS about your concerns and reasons for the application.
    • However, should the CFS assess that there is an immediate risk of harm to the VA, they are obligated to inform the relevant agencies to ensure the VA's safety.
  • Take up the referrals that the CFS may make for you.

Note: The session will be conducted in a private room and the details of the session will not be disclosed to other parties. Only details provided in your application form and the outcome of the session will be made known to the respondent. If necessary, the CFS will seek your consent before sharing any information which may be helpful for the respondent to know.

You will have to appear before a duty judge. During this session, you will confirm the truth of the contents of your application.

You will need to:

  • Appear before the judge either in court or through video conference. This is usually done on the same day you visit the FJC or PSC/PAVE ISIFPSC.
  • Answer questions that the judge has for you.
  • Swear or affirm that the contents of your application and your answers are true and correct.

It is a serious offence to include statements that you know to be untrue or incorrect in a sworn or affirmed application.

If your application is accepted

If your application is in order, the judge will issue a summons to the respondent. If not, the judge will dismiss your application.

The summons is a court document directing the respondent to attend court on a scheduled date and time for a court session known as a mention.

If the judge issues a summons, you will need to pay a sum of $1. The court will serve the summons on the respondent at the address that you provided in your application.

You will also be issued a mention slip containing the date and time for you to attend the court mention. Find out what happens at the court mention.

Note: In some cases, the judge may issue an expedited order if the VA is experiencing or is in immediate danger of abuse or neglect. This order will be served on the respondent together with the summons.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more
Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide



Refer to the vulnerable adults brochure: 

Legislation associated with this topic includes:

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