Child and Youth Advocate Releases Investigative Report “No Second Chance”

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has completed its investigation into protection services provided to a child. The focus of this investigation was to determine the appropriateness of services, and whether the child’s rights were upheld during the family’s involvement with the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development.

The purpose of this report is to learn from these circumstances and to make recommendations for improvements in the system to prevent similar incidents for other children in the future. The Child and Youth Advocate requests that all readers understand the sensitivity and privacy involved. The focus is not on individual identities or location, but rather on how services can be improved for children and their families in the future.

The Child and Youth Advocate has identified three main systemic areas for improvement as a result of this investigation:

  • The need for CSSD’s appropriate and timely monitoring, assessment, and reporting of court ordered conditions, as well as complying with its policy and documentation standards in these matters;

  • The importance of timely access to mental health services for children and youth;

  • The appropriateness of placing older grandparents in protective roles with their grandchildren without appropriate risk assessments, and without clearly and jointly defined and understood plans for the child’s safety.

Child and Youth Advocate Jackie Lake Kavanagh said, “It is important to ensure government services, responses and protections work well for children. This investigation shows that sometimes there is no second chance to make things right in the life of a child.” The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate monitors all recommendations it makes and publicly reports on them on an annual basis.