Youth under the DYP
Your rights under the DYP
Right to a lawyer
You always have the right to consult a lawyer and to be represented by a lawyer in court.
How to find a lawyer?
Contact the law society: www.barreau.qc.ca/en/find-lawyer
The Young Bar of Montréal, for example, is a law society where 12 to 20-year-olds can consult a lawyer at no cost: ajbm.qc.ca/en/public-services/seeking-for-a-lawyer
Right to be informed and right to be listened to
People must give you information about:
- your rights
- the various stages of your file
- all measures that concern you
- any possibilities for you to refuse or challenge a decision that involves you
You have the right to be given information in words that you understand.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything that is not clear to you.
You have the right to be heard :
- You have the right to express your point of view to the people making decisions about you (like judges and youth workers).
Right to communicate
With your loved ones
While you are in placement, no one other than the court can prevent you from communicating with your parents or siblings (this includes your half-siblings and step-siblings).
You can also communicate with your grandparents, friends, other family members, etc. unless the court prohibits you from doing so. If you are in a rehabilitation centre, then an authorized person from that centre may also prohibit you from communicating with these people. If so, that person must explain the reasons for their decision, give you a written copy of it, and inform you that you can challenge it.
With other people
No one can prevent you from communicating with:
- your lawyer
- the DYP
- the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
- the court clerks
You may communicate with all these people:
- in person or by E-mail, phone, text or social media
- confidentially (unless the court decides otherwise). This means you don’t have to tell anyone what you spoke about together
Right to be accompanied
You have the right to be accompanied by the person of your choice when you meet with the DYP or your youth worker.
To accompany you, a person must:
- let you speak; not speak for you
- facilitate the orderly progress of the meeting
- maintain confidentiality
- act in your best interests (for example, if a person is believed to have taken advantage of you, they cannot accompany you)
If you would like someone to accompany you, contact the users’ committee at the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) or Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) where you receive services or the complaint support assistance centre (CAAP) in your area.
Find your CISSS or your CIUSSS
You also have the right:
- to refuse certain DYP decisions if you do not agree with them. In this case, the situation may be referred to the court
- to receive health services and social services
- to receive educational services (like going to school)
- to access your DYP file if you are over 14 years old
- to consult your medical records by submitting an access to information request to the CISSS or CIUSSS where you receive services. These centres can explain any conditions and tell you how to proceed.
If you are transferred to a new living environment
You have the right to be consulted before changing rehabilitation centres or foster homes. You also have the right to receive the information and preparation you need for the transfer.
If you are disciplined
If you are in a rehabilitation centre, the centre must explain its rules to you and tell you what disciplinary measures you will face for not following them.
Neither isolation or restraint can be used to punish you or because you have broken a rule. You can only be isolated or restrained to protect you or the people around you.
How to enforce your rights?
To help you understand and defend your rights
Contact-us at the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse:
By phone: 1 800 361-6477
By E-mail: email@example.com
If you are not satisfied with the quality of the services you receive
Services you receive from the DYP, your foster family, your rehabilitation centre or any other facility (for example, a hospital), contact:
- your local service quality and complaints commissioner
- the users’ committee at the CISSS or CIUSSS where you receive services