The Directorate for Child Protection Services operates under the legal framework of the Minors Protection (Alternative Care) Act, Chapter 602 of the laws of Malta. It comprises of four (4) main services:
- The Child Protection Investigation unit, which investigates reports of child maltreatment, i.e. physical violence unto a minor, inappropriate sexual actions, neglect, emotional and psychological abuse, and children witnessing domestic violence.
- The court service which services the Family Courts of Malta and Gozo, in providing assessments and recommendations in relation to child-related items stemming out of separation proceedings. Amongst other things, the Court services ensure to deliver a rigorous assessment about the context of a child, which draws on evaluations of the family dynamics, practical elements of care, the pscyhology of the parents, and the openness of parents to collaborate in a coparenting agreement to the best interest of the child. All such assessments maintain the best interest of the child at the core.
- The Children House which is intended to be an extension of the Courts of Malta. The function of this house is to serve as a child-appropriate setting where judicial investigations of violence which involve minors as victims or witnesses may be conducted. In principle this house attempts to adjust the judicial system to become fairly accessible to children, who may have not yet developed the level of maturity to handle the more adultified Court Process. It is intended to promote safety, fairness, adequacy and fairness in the benefit of children, so they may quickly receive the support they need, without jeoperdizing their opportunity to gain justice for ill-treatment they received.
- The International Dimension of Child Protection which deals with child trafficking, abducted children, female genital mutilation, children who are forced into marriages, online abuse, and unaccompanied minors' asylum seekers.
Due to the mandatory reporting regulations under the aforementioned law, all professionals are obliged to report to the Child Protection Service any suspicions that a child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, from significant harm resulting from physical, sexual, emotional abuse, neglect and vicarious abuse.