Diversity and Inclusion
Bill or Act:
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
Service providers are to develop a written protocol for determining at the intake stage of service provision how a child identifies. The protocol must include eliciting the child's voice. Sources other than the child can inform the determination of a child's identity as it relates to race, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, disability, creed, cultural linguistic needs, and regional differences. However, the determination of a child's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression can only be made by the child; if the child's views are unable to be ascertained, information obtained from other sources about these identity factors can inform service decisions where appropriate. Service providers will be required to gather information on how a child's identity can be taken into account in service provision from the child, the child's parents, the child's identity representative, the child's extended family, or person in charge of the child in specified circumstances. The service provider is to inform a child and their parents at the beginning of service provision of the option of choosing one or more identity representatives and explain this role. The child and parents can each choose anyone as their own identity representatives as long as the service provider does not have a reasonable basis to be concerned that the individual will present a risk of harm to the child or is the subject of a restraining order or other form of restriction on their contact with the child. If the service provider does not accept a person proposed by a child or parent or terminates the person's involvement based on the above criteria, the service provider will inform the child or parent of the decision and its basis and support them in choosing another representative. The identity representative's role is to provide information to assist the service provider in understanding how the child's identity can be taken into account in service delivery. Service providers are to meet with any identity representatives prior to any decision being made regarding service delivery and are to document reasons if this is not done. Service providers are required to consider what, if any, services or resources related to the child's identity may be available that could assist the service provider and the child, offer and support linkages to these services or resources, and document their efforts.
If a child is First Nations, Inuk or Métis and they have one or more bands or First Nations, Inuit or Metis communities they identify with or are a member of, the service provider is required to offer and support linkages to that community and obtain guidance from them on how to account for the child's cultures, heritages and traditions in service provision. If the child is First Nations, Inuk or Métis and does not have a band, First Nations Inuit or Métis community, the service provider is required to offer and support linkages to services related to the child's cultures, heritages and traditions to ensure these aspects of the child's identity are taken into account in service provision. These linkages are to be documented and if no linkages are provided service providers should document the reason. The child has the option to choose whether or not to engage with these linkages or cultural services that are offered, and to revisit their decision at any point. Service providers must ensure their staff complete training related to identity factors.
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