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What is a family guidance order

If you are a parent or guardian of a child, you can apply for a family guidance order (FGO) if you need help guiding your child who is under 16 years of age. FGO applications are heard in the Youth Courts.

It replaces the former beyond parental control (BPC) orders to reflect the shift in focus from solely the behaviour of the child to the role of the family.


As the FGO application process usually includes the completion of the family programme which may take a few months, you should not wait to make your application too close to the date when your child reaches 16 years of age.

Requirements for a family guidance order

The Youth Courts will only issue an FGO if all the following requirements are met:

  • Your child must be below 16 years old at the time the order is made.
  • You are unable to guide your child and your child needs to be guided by someone else.
  • Your child and you have completed a family programme unless exempted by the court.
  • You understand the consequences of the FGO and agree to it being made.

Family guidance orders the court may make

If the court is satisfied that the requirements for an FGO are met, it may do any of the following:

  • Commit your child to the care of a fit person for up to 3 years.
  • Commit your child to a place of safety for up to 3 years.
  • Place your child under the supervision of an approved welfare officer for up to 3 years.
  • Order your child to attend counselling, psychotherapy or any other assessment, programme or treatment.
    • As a parent or guardian, you may also be ordered to attend these activities with your child.

If your child disobeys a family guidance order

If your child breaches (disobeys) an FGO, the welfare officer in charge of your child’s case may take out proceedings in court for the breach. Your child may then be ordered to reside in the Singapore Boys Home or Singapore Girls Home while a report is prepared on them.

The court will consider the report before deciding on further orders necessary for your child.

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


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