Investigations (Youth protection)
The Commission investigates whenever we have reason to believe that the rights of a child are being violated. However, we cannot investigate cases that have already gone to court.
The purpose of the investigation is to gather information about whether the child’s rights are being violated. The investigation is carried out by an investigator from the Commission. It is not a trial.
When can the Commission investigate?
The Commission can investigate on our own initiative or if we receive a request for intervention.
- We can investigate any situation where we have reason to believe that there has been a violation of any of the rights set out in:
What is the purpose of the Commission’s investigation?
The purpose of the investigation is to investigate the situation described in the request for intervention. This means gathering information about whether the child’s rights are being violated.
After our investigation, we recommend an end to the problematic behaviour, or suggest other steps to correct the situation.
What happens during the investigation?
1. A Commission investigator takes charge of the file.
- The investigator contacts anyone who can provide relevant information, including the young person themself, to get everyone’s version of what is happening. The investigator may meet with some of these people in person. Anyone the investigator contacts or meets may be accompanied by a person of their choice.
- The investigator also gathers any documents that will help us to analyse the situation.
- If the situation has not been corrected by the time this information-gathering phase is complete, then the investigator writes a report that summarizes all the evidence.
- The investigator gives the report to our investigation committee for a decision.
The investigation may be stopped at any time if the situation is corrected.
The investigation must be stopped if the case is brought to court. If so, the Commission may intervene in the court case instead.
What information can investigators access during a youth protection investigation?
Investigators may access documents and question people as part of their investigation, and can access a child’s entire file. This can include DYP records, coroner’s reports, medical records, police reports, etc. Investigators do not need consent from users or parents, and do not have to make access to information requests.
2. The investigation committee makes a decision
If the Commission has reason to believe that the child’s rights have been violated, we may make any necessary recommendations to the person, institution, organization or ministry that is violating the right, in order to correct the situation and prevent it from happening again.
If these recommendations have not been followed by our deadline, we can ask the Youth Division of the Court of Québec to acknowledge the violation of rights and order corrective measures.
The investigation committee is made up of three commissioners.