Children & Youth Advocate
Yukon Child & Youth Advocate Office
Section 11 of the Child and Youth Advocate Act describes the Advocate’s primary role as supporting, assisting, informing and advising children and youth regarding designated services.
The Advocate can perform their duties when requested to do so by a child or youth receiving or eligible to receive designated services or by any other person. Designated services are defined by section 1 the Act as programs or services for children and youth provided:
- directly by a department, including schools under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Education;
- as part of a school by a school board established under the Education Act; and
- by a First Nation service authority.
The youth who can access the Advocate include individuals under 19 years of age or who are receiving transitional support services, under sec 17 of the Child and Family Services Act, and are receiving or eligible to receive services under the Education Act, charged with an offence under Youth Criminal Justice Act or Young Persons Offender Act, or found guilty of an offence and eligible to receive designated services.
A First Nation government or a municipality can request that the Advocate perform functions from section 11 if the Advocate is able to recover costs from them.
Under section 12 of the Act, the Advocate may also review and provide advice regarding systemic issues that come to its attention. If a review of a systemic issue requires resources beyond those available to the Advocate, the Advocate can bring the issue to the attention of the department, service authority or school board who is providing the service at issue.
The Legislative Assembly or a minister may refer to the Advocate a matter for review regarding the provision of designated services, which may include a review of critical injuries, a death or other specific incident regarding a child or youth in care or custody of the government or a First Nation service authority.
The Advocate is able to inform children, youth and other members of the public about the role of the advocate and the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
The Advocate’s primary role of supporting, assisting, informing and advising children and youth, with respect to designated services, can include the following activities:
- Providing information and advice on how to access service or a process for review of a decision respecting service;
- Working with the child or youth or other persons involved with the individual to ensure preferences and views of child or youth are heard;
- Promoting rights and interests of the child or youth, particularly if such cannot be determined as a result of developmental level or inability to communicate; and
- Working with a child or youth to resolve issues with services using informal dispute resolution processes.
The Advocate can refuse a request for service if the Advocate believes the matter is trivial, the request is not made in good faith or is made for frivolous or vexatious reasons, or that further action is unnecessary or unwarranted. The Advocate can also refuse a request for service if the person making the request does not have sufficient interest in the issue or if the subject matter is being dealt with by another body, tribunal, or court that has jurisdiction over the relevant service.
All children have the right to live with their parents, unless it is unsafe for them.
Art. 9 — Convention on the Rights of the Child