On May 15, the Standing Committee on Justice Policy recommended amendments to Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017. After being debated on May 31st, Bill 89 passed third reading and received Royal Assent on June 1. Proclamation of the new Act is expected in the coming months. More is available here.
In their media release, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services notes the new Act:
- Raises the age of protection from 16 to 18 (to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking)
- Makes services more inclusive and culturally appropriate for all children and youth, including Indigenous and Black children and youth (to ensure every child receives the best possible support)
- Puts a greater focus on early intervention (to help prevent children and families from reaching crisis situations at home)
- Improves accountability and oversight of service providers, including children's aid societies and licensed residential service providers (so children and youth receive safe, consistent and high-quality services across the province)
CMHO expects that most changes impacting the accountability of child and youth mental health service providers will be prescribed by regulations, which have yet to be developed. We have requested that a full consultation be held on the development of these regulations and will continue to keep you abreast of any developments.
As you will recall CMHO presented our concerns about Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017 to Standing Committee on March 30. The transcript from the proceedings is available here and our submission can be accessed here.