What are my rights as a youth in care of a children’s aid society (CAS)?
- You can be involved in important decisions about your medical treatment, education, training, work programs, religion, transfer to another residence or your discharge. This means you have a right to be consulted and express your preferences.
- You can visit or speak in private with your family, unless a court order does not allow it or a court order allows the CAS to make decisions about family visits on your behalf.
- You can speak in private with, and have visits from, your lawyer, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, a member of the provincial legislature, or another person representing you.
- You have the right to reasonable privacy and possession of your personal property.
- You have the right to nutritious meals, regular medical and dental care, appropriate good quality clothing, and to take part in recreational sports and activities.
- You have the right to practice your religion and learn more about it.
- You have the right to know about the process for addressing complaints regarding your rights in care.
- You have the right to know about the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, his/her role and how to contact him/her.
All children and youth have rights. The Ontario Ombudsman is another resource to help if you’re experiencing a problem or concern – or you have questions about your rights and don’t know who to turn to. Click here to be sent to the Ontario Ombudsman’s webpage for Children and Youth. Ontario Ombudsman.
What does the office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) do in child protection cases?
The OCL has lawyers across Ontario who can represent children and youth in child protection cases in court. They can also help with related matters, such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), complaints about services received from a CAS, and adoption openness cases.
The OCL lawyers role is to independently represent the views and interests of the youth. The lawyer provides information to the youth about the options that are available, and advocates for the youth in court and other processes, such as in ADR or hearings before the Child and Family Services Review Board.
The OCL also provides lawyers for parents who are under 18 years old.
Anyone involved in a child protection case can ask the judge to appoint a Children’s Lawyer.
You can contact the OCL by calling (416) 314-8000 or at http://www.ontario.ca/ccnw.
What does the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Do?
The office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth is an independent voice for children and youth across the province. receiving services under the Child and Family Services Act: http://www.ontario.ca/ccnx.
The Provincial Advocate has the authority to receive and respond to complaints, conduct reviews, represent the views and preferences of children and youth, make reports and provide recommendations.
The Provincial Advocate also has the ability to investigate matters relating to services provided by CASs and residential licensees, where a CAS is the placing agency.
The Provincial Advocate does not provide legal advice or legal representation.
For more information, please visit: http://provincialadvocate.on.ca or call toll free: 1-800-263-2841.
You can download the full brochure in PDF format by clicking here:Legal Rights Resource Guide English – March 2016
For more information, please review our FAQ page.