FOR RELEASE – April 1, 2022
Child and Family Services Act revisions are a step toward improving experiences for children
On Thursday in the Legislative Assembly, transformational amendments to the Child and Family Services Act were passed. The intention of the amendments are to address the over-representation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system. This has been a four year process and we are pleased to see that overall it is a strong reflection of children’s rights.
The amendments to the Child and Family Services Act reflect the findings of the YCAO’s 2019 report Empty Spaces - Caring Connections, particularly the views and experiences of children and youth, families and First Nations. “Specific attention to keeping siblings together, supporting youth past the age of 24, building cultural plans and reunifying families is exactly what we heard in our review (which included the experiences of 94 children)” states King. “Of most significance is the attention to rethinking how children are placed away from parents”.
The Advocate adds that “applying a child rights lens is an important step toward healing from the past and providing the best possible outcome for children receiving services from government. We have been advocating to the Department of Health and Social Services to ensure youth participation and a child rights lens by including a formal Child Rights Impact Assessment”. On March 10, 2022, a formal Child Rights Impact Assessment, provided by the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office, was tabled in the Legislative Assembly to compliment Bill No. 11, Act to Amend the Child and Family Services Act (2022).
“We are pleased to have had the Legislative Assembly review our Child Rights Impact Assessment https://www.ycao.ca/cria and look forward to working with YG and First Nation partners to ensure the policies and practices that emerge from this transformative legislation will uphold children’s views and rights and address the systemic harm that Indigenous families have endured”.
The Child & Youth Advocate Office is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly committed to upholding children’s rights and amplifying the views of young people. The operations of the office are guided by the Child and Youth Advocate Act, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls for Action. Children, youth or others concerned about a child or youth receiving services within Yukon Government can contact the Child and Youth Advocate Office at (867) 456-5575.
Child and Youth Advocate
Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office
(867) 456-5575; firstname.lastname@example.org