Nova Scotia

Christine Brennan


Office of the Ombudsman, Youth Services


To view or download a more detailed overview of the Mandate, Authority and Provision of Service for this office, click here.

The mandate of the Office is to be accountable for ensuring the rights and interests of children and youth in care and custody of the government, are protected and advanced, particularly respecting services and programs provided or funded under municipal and provincial legislation. This includes:

All children have the right to fair treatment in a justice system that respects their rights and takes into account their age and that promotes their reintegration.

Art. 40 – Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Receiving, reviewing, and investigating complaints or concerns respecting children who receive provincial/municipal government services or programs, including residential, secure treatment care, and/or secure custody;
  • Performing, where necessary, investigations initiated by the Office’s own motion, including systemic investifations;
  • Communicating, advising, and assisting government in resolving issues related to the provision of services for children and youth, and on issues related to the welfare and interests of children who receive those services or programs and/or reside in government residential or secure facilities;
  • When youth-serving agencies, organizations, or government departments are not adequately meeting the needs of resident or staff, Youth Services may provide a forum to consider how the various policies and practices within government can be enhanced and better coordinated.


The function of children and youth services includes receiving, reviewing, and investigating complaints or concerns from children and youth in care and custody of the government from 0-18 years. There are also exceptional situations, where the court orders that a permanent care and custody agreement be extended until the child reaches 21 years of age. This includes youth receiving services and/or programs offered through residential child caring facilities, secure treatment care, and/or secure custody under provincial and municipal legislation and/or from staff employed by these facilities.

Provision of services includes:

  • Outreach and Education
  • Complaint Resolution, Investigation, Mediation
  • Contacting the Office