Michael Coteau Minister of Children and Youth Services has said that “We listened to people across the province, including young people with experience in care, and used what we heard to strengthen services and better protect and care for Ontario’s most vulnerable young people. Our Child, Youth and Family Services Act puts children and youth at the heart of decision-making and paves the way for services that are more accountable and responsive. These changes are an important step in our ongoing efforts to promote child and family wellbeing.”
Today, Ontario passed legislation to help children and youth across the province thrive and reach their full potential by strengthening and modernizing child, youth and family services.
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act makes significant changes to how Ontario provides services to children and youth in need of protection. It puts young people at the centre of decisions about their care, supports more accountable, responsive and accessible child and youth services and strengthens oversight for children’s aid societies and licensed residential services. Key areas of change in the act include:
- Raising the age of protection from 16 to 18 to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking
- Making services more inclusive and culturally appropriate for all children and youth, including Indigenous and Black children and youth, to ensure every child receives the best possible support
- Putting a greater focus on early intervention, to help prevent children and families from reaching crisis situations at home
- Improving accountability and oversight of service providers, including children’s aid societies and licensed residential service providers, so that children and youth receive safe, consistent and high-quality services across the province.
Supporting children and youth and helping them reach their full potential is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.