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Child Protection Services

Child Protection and In Care

All programs and services within Child Protection and In-Care are designed to help ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth. When there is concern of maltreatment by a parent, social workers assess the safety and risk to the child(ren). All decisions to intervene with the family are based on the overriding principle of the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act, which is the best interests of the child. Where a child is determined to be in need of protection, the social worker, together with the family, develops a plan to reduce the identified risk. This could involve providing supervision in the home and ensuring the parent avails of supports and intervention services that they require to adequately care for the child. These services may be provided by departmental staff, other departments or agencies of government, or through service providers within the community.

When the health and safety of a child cannot be maintained or assured in the family home, the department provides the following options:

  • Kinship Services: providing Kinship Services to relatives or significant others who are willing and capable of providing care to a child who is in need of protective intervention and requires an out-of-home placement. The provision of Kinship Services does not transfer custody of the child to a manager of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.
  • Protective Care Agreement: entering into a Protective Care Agreement with parents in situations where they are unable to care for their child and need time to seek help or resolve issues in the family home that could place the child’s safety, health or well-being at risk. In these situations, parents enter into a written agreement that allows them to transfer care and supervision of a child to a manager of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services. A Protective Care Agreement does not transfer custody of the child to a manager.
  • In Care Program: transferring the care and custody of a child or youth to a manager of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services through an order from the court. Only the court can make a legal determination that a child or youth is in need of protective intervention and place the child or youth in the care and custody of a manager on a temporary or permanent basis. If custody is transferred to a manager on a permanent basis this is known as continuous custody and this option is only pursued where it is in the best interest of the child or youth and all other options have been exhausted.

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Foster Families

Foster parents play a significant role in the life of a child or youth in their care. They are entrusted with the responsibility of nurturing and protecting a child or youth, addressing and meeting their developmental needs, helping a child or youth stay connected to their birth family and working as part of a professional planning team to support the child or youth.

Foster parents are recruited, assessed, approved and supported by local Child, Youth and Family Services offices. All applicants must complete the PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) program. PRIDE is a standardized, competency based model for preparing and assessing foster parent applicants. The PRIDE assessment process includes eight information sessions and a comprehensive home assessment.

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Youth Services

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services assists young people age 16 to 17 years, during their transition to early adulthood. Youth who were not in care on their 16th birthday and are attending a high school/equivalency program are eligible to receive CYFS services up to age 19. Youth who were in care on their 16th birthday and are attending an educational program or rehabilitative program are eligible to receive services up to age 21 and to receive funding for post-secondary education. All services under the Youth Services Program are provided through a voluntary Youth Services Agreement signed directly with the youth. Services include:

  • Providing supportive services to young people living in their family home to address issues which could affect the safety, health and well-being of the youth in an effort to keep families together.
  • Providing residential, financial, supportive and rehabilitative services to enable youth to reside outside of the family home when they are at risk of maltreatment in their family home.

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Service Contracts

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