The Family Court plays a very important role. It is the Juvenile Court of summary jurisdiction for Domestic Violence matters. It is the Court through which many sexual offence matters are dealt with at the preliminary stage. It is the forum where the majority of custody and maintenance matters are heard. The Court has sole jurisdiction to deal with matters arising under the following enactments-:
- The Education Act Cap 220 Volume 5 (Cap 202 Vol. 7)
- The Employment of Children (Prohibition) Act 1940 ( Cap 209 Vol. 7)
- The Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act Cap 148 Volume 4(Cap 209 Vol. 7)
- The Immunization of Children Act Cap224 Volume 5 (Cap 289 Vol. 7)
- The Juveniles Act Chapter 168 Volume 5(Cap 231 Vol. 7)
- The Law of Minors Act Chapter 169 Volume 5(Cap 232 Vol. 7)
- The Maintenance Act Chapter 171 Volume 5(Cap 234 Vol. 7)
- The Maintenance Order Reciprocal Enforcement Act Chapter 172 Volume 5(Cap 235 Vol. 7)
- The Adoption of Children Act 1959 Chapter 163 Volume 5(Cap 225 Vol. 7)
- Sexual Offences Matters that fall under Cap V111 of the Criminal Code (at the summary level)(Cap 171 Vol. 6)
- The Domestic Violence (Summary Proceedings Act 1995)(Cap 228 Vol. 7)
The Court has sole jurisdiction to deal with many enactments; however most of the matters that come before the Court are matters pertaining to maintenance of children and spouses, domestic violence cases, custody or access to children, matters involving juveniles and sexual offences matters.
The Family Court not only deals with matters of a legal nature but it also has a Social Support service that provides counselling and mediation as required not only by the Court but can also be done on a walk-in basis.
The Family Court is seen as a secondary social service agency. In order to provide efficient service to the clients it shall network with other social service agencies throughout Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Agencies are as follows:
- Family Services in the Ministry of Social Development
- Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Social Development
- Marion House - a Non-governmental Organization (NGO)
- Liberty Lodge Boys Training School in the Ministry of Education.
- Police Public Relations Office (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force)
- Milton Cato Memorial Hospital
- D.N.A testing (Caribbean Reference Laboratory or Sigma Medical Laboratory)