Youth Protection Act
The Youth Protection Act protects everyone under age 18 whose:
- security or development is in danger
- situation has been reported to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP).
What does the Youth Protection Act say?
The Youth Protection Act states the following.
- The DYP is responsible for assessing a young person’s situation and deciding whether they are in difficulty or in need of protection
- All decisions must aim at keeping children in their family environment
- All decisions must be in the interest of the child and must respect the child’s rights (such as the right to receive health services, the right to education, the right to live somewhere appropriate)
- Young people and their parents must have their rights under the Youth Protection Act fully explained to them and must be given the opportunity to be heard
- People who have responsibility over children must explain information to them in words they can understand
- A child must be informed before being transferred from one foster family or rehabilitation centre to another
- All information gathered about children and their parents is confidential
- The DYP cannot reveal the identity of someone who submits a report
What are my rights under the Youth Protection Act?
The Youth Protection Act protects the following rights:
- Your right to be informed and consulted. If you change foster families or rehabilitation centres, the DYP must explain the transfer to you (if you can understand) and to your parents.
- Your right to a lawyer. When someone from the DYP becomes involved in your life, they must tell you that you have the right to speak to a lawyer.
- Your right to object and contest decisions. If your immediate protection measure has been extended, the DYP must inform you (if you are over age 14) and your parent, that you have the right to contest this decision.
- Your right to appropriate services. You have the right to access the health and social services described in your intervention plan or court order.
- Your right to be accompanied. You have the right to be accompanied by the person of your choice when you meet with the DYP.
- Your right to communicate. You have the right to communicate in all confidentiality with your parents and siblings, your lawyer, the DYP, the Commission, the court clerk, and any other person (unless the executive director of your institution considers this not to be in your interest).
- Your right to know the rules during your placement. You can not be disciplined in any way that is inconsistent with your institution’s internal rules.
- Your right to be listened to. You have the right to express your needs and wishes for your intervention plan.
The Commission’s role
The Commission can intervene if we have reason to believe that the rights of a child or group of children are not being respected. We can:
- teach children and adults about their rights
- accept requests for intervention
- conduct research, publish reports
- take legal steps to correct a situation
Parents and caregivers have a responsibility to protect the young people under their care and to ensure their: