Youth Protection Act
This Act protects all children and adolescents under the age of 18:
- that have been the subject of a report to the Director of Youth Protection (YPA)
- whose security and development are considered to be in danger
In particular, the YPA provides that:
- The Director of Youth Protection is in charge of evaluating the situation of a child to determine if he or she is in difficulty and in need of protection.
- All decisions made under this Act must aim at keeping the child in the family environment.
- All decisions made must be in the interests of children and must respect their rights, such as the right to receive health services, social and education services, and to be placed in appropriate premises.
- Children and their parents must be informed of the rights guaranteed by the Act and must be given an opportunity to be heard.
- The persons to whom a child is entrusted must provide information and explanations in terms appropriate to the child’s age.
- A child or youth placed in a foster family or in a rehabilitation centre must be informed of any transfer from such placement.
- Any information collected under the Act concerning the child or the parents is confidential.
- The DYP may not disclose the identity of a person who files a report.
The Youth Protection Act protects the following rights :
- Right to be informed and consulted: The DYP has to inform the parents or the child who is able understand, about the measures taken when the child is transferred from a foster family or rehabilitation centre;
- Right to legal counsel: The caseworker has to tell the youth that he or she has the right to be represented by a lawyer;
- Right to refuse and oppose: The DYP has to inform a parent that he or she may oppose the extension of an immediate protective measure;
- Right to adequate services: The child has to have access to the services of a psychologist as stipulated in his or her intervention plan or as ordered by the court;
- Right to support and assistance: A mother is allowed to have the person of her choice accompany her when meeting with the DYP;
- Right to communicate: A child has the right to communicate in all confidentiality with his or her brothers and sisters;
- Rights as to the use of disciplinary measures while a youth is placed in an institution:Disciplinary measures that are not provided for in the institution′s internal rules can not be imposed to a youth;
- Right to be heard: A child has the right to express his or her needs or wishes when his or her intervention plan is being drawn up.