Regulation - LGIC

Proposed Regulatory Provisions Governing Mechanical Restraints under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017

Regulation Number(s):
N/A
Bill or Act:
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
The ministry has committed to working collaboratively with its partners, service providers and stakeholders to support the development of regulations under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA).

The CYFSA has a new definition, which is not included in the CFSA, of mechanical restraints: "mechanical restraints" means a device, material or equipment that reduces the ability of a person to move freely, and includes handcuffs, flex cuffs, leg irons, restraining belts, belly chains and linking chains.

A new provision in Part II (Children and Young Person's Rights) of the CYFSA prohibits a service provider or foster parent from using mechanical restraints on a child or young person, except as Part VI (Youth Justice), Part VII (Extraordinary Measures) and the regulations authorize.

CYFSA provisions governing the use of mechanical restraints in places of secure custody or of secure temporary detention can be found in subsections 156(1) and (2).

Given the potentially intrusive nature of practices such as the use of mechanical restraints in places of secure custody or of secure temporary detention, the ministry is proposing to set these practices and procedures out in regulations so that they are transparent and consistent. Mechanical restraints are not used in places of open custody or open temporary detention and CYFSA does not currently authorize their use in those facilities.

In addition to authorizing the use of mechanical restraints within youth justice facilities, subsection 156(3) of the CYFSA allows for mechanical restraints to be used on a young person who is detained in a place of secure custody or of secure temporary detention where it is reasonably necessary for the transportation of the young person to another place of custody or detention, or to or from court or in the community.

CYFSA provisions governing the use of mechanical restraints in secure treatment programs, which serve children and youth with mental health conditions, can be found in section 160. These provisions restrict the use of mechanical restraints to emergency situations, to restrain a person when immediate action is needed to prevent serious bodily harm to the person or others.

Given the potentially intrusive nature of practices such as the use of mechanical restraints in secure treatment programs, the ministry is proposing to set these practices and procedures out in regulations so that they are transparent and consistent as well as to require appropriate clinical oversight of these practices.

The proposed regulatory provisions are intended to provide further protections for children and young persons who may be placed in mechanical restraints. The proposed regulatory provisions have been informed by input that the ministry has received from young persons, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (PACY), partners, service providers and other stakeholders.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
17-CYS026
Posting Date:
December 11, 2017
Comments Due Date:
January 26, 2018
Contact Address:
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
56 Wellesley St West, 15th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2S3