Rights of Children and Young Persons
Bill or Act:
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
Service providers will be required to inform children and young persons receiving services, their parents or a person who has charge of the child or young person of: the child or young person's rights under Part II; available complaint mechanisms; and the existence and role of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. This information is to be provided at the beginning of service provision, thereafter at a frequency determined by the service provider in order to confirm that a child or young person understands their rights, unless a specific frequency is required elsewhere in the Act or regulations, and if the service provider has reason to believe that the child or young person's rights may have been violated by another service provider.
Service providers are to provide this information verbally and in written or electronic formats where available and where required, in a form that is accessible, along with supports that the child or young person may need in order to understand their rights. Service providers are to work with the child or young person to help them understand the information provided. Supports are also to be provided to a child or young person in order for them to exercise their rights. If identified supports are not able to be provided, this is to be documented.
As an accountability mechanism, when any service provider is making a decision that affects a child or young person, the service provider will be required to document in the child or young person's file: how and when the service provider gave the child or young person the opportunity to have their views heard and to participate in the decision, whether the child or young person participated in the decision and, if so, how they participated and what, if any, views the child or young person expressed.
Service providers, other than societies and residential licensees, will be required to have a complaints mechanism that will allow for children and young persons receiving services to complain about possible violation of rights. The complaint mechanism will allow complaints to be made verbally and in other accessible formats by the child or young person, a parent of the child or young person, another person representing the child or young person, or anonymously. Unless the complaint is anonymous, the service provider must acknowledge receipt of the complaint by the end of the business day following receipt of the complaint and determine if any actions can be taken to support the child or young person as the complaint is being investigated.
The service provider is to inform the child or young person that they may contact the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth to determine what assistance, if any, the Advocate may be able to provide. The review of the complaint is to be conducted by a person or persons independent from the individual(s) the complaint is about.
The service provider must update the complainant and/or child/young person on the status of the complaint upon the child/young person or the complainant's request, and at least every 30 days until the complaint is resolved. The complaint resolution is to be provided in writing to the person who made the complaint and/or the child/young person. The complaint resolution must also be discussed with the child/young person and/or person who made the complaint. All details regarding the complaint process is to be documented in the child or young person's file.
December 11, 2017
Comments Due Date:
January 26, 2018
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
56 Wellesley St West, 15th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2S3