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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Smacking ban law

About the smacking law​

Jersey is the first place in the British Isles to introduce a new smacking ban law. Children now have the same protection in law as adults from assault including:

  • hitting
  • smacking
  • slapping

The new law puts children first and prevents parents, carers or legal guardians using any corporal punishment towards children.

Smacking ban leaflet in different languages

The law:

  • puts the rights of the child first and gives children the same protection from assault as adults 
  • protects the rights of children in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that physical punishment is not effective and can be harmful
  • it will be unlawful to use physical punishment as a means of parenting your child and anyone who does could face prosecution

Why smacking is banned

Smacking a child is banned for the following reasons:

  • smacking can be dangerous and harmful 
  • smacking sets children the wrong example 
  • smacking has negative effects which last long after the physical pain dies away 
  • smacking is not an effective way to teach children discipline

Support available for parents

Asking for help is a positive step and there are different agencies and professionals in Jersey where you can seek support. 

Being a parent or carer can be wonderful, rewarding and challenging. From temper tantrums, mealtime meltdowns to testing teenagers, parenting can also be exhausting.

Sometimes children's behaviour can be a challenge to cope with and this may be frustrating, upsetting or embarrassing. There are tactics and things you can do without resorting to hitting your child.

Asking for help is a positive step and there are different agencies and professionals in Jersey where you can seek support. 

Children and Families Hub 

The Children and Families Hub supports children and families to access the right help at the right time. The hub also responds to any safeguarding concerns you may have for a child or young person.

Parenting Support Services

The Parenting Support team, at the Bridge Child and Family Centre, aims to help parents and carers from the early years to the toddler and teenage years. They work in conjunction with family support workers in primary and secondary schools across the Island delivering the Triple P, Positive Parenting Programme. 

Brighter Futures

Brighter Futures’ focus is to help build stronger families and communities and to ensure that parents and children in Jersey have brighter futures. 

Family Nursing and Home Care 

Family Nursing and Home Care Health Visitors, School Nurses, Community Nursery Nurses, provide help and support to parents with children up to the age of 19.

NSPCC Jersey Service Centre

The NSPCC Jersey Service Centre is an Island-wide service that provides vital support to local families.

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