Best interests of the child paramount in new legislation: Minister

Staff ~ The Telegram
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A new piece of legislation to better safeguard the province's most vulnerable children and youth will enter second reading in the House of Assembly this afternoon, Joan Burke, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services said this morning.
"The best interests of the child will now become the overriding and paramount consideration in any decision made under this act while still recognizing the importance of the family and significant others in a child's life," Burke said.
"This is the first step towards a major transformation and ultimately creating the best child protection system in the country."
The bill will replace the current Child, Youth and Family Services Act and will be named the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act to better reflect the intent of the act and to distinguish it from the name of the department which is also responsible for other legislation. The Children and Youth Care and Protection Act provides the authority to intervene when a child or youth is the victim, or at risk, of harm or neglect by a parent.
The proposed new legislation contains significant updates and child-focused amendments which include reducing the number of temporary court orders for children in the care of the province; promoting better permanency planning; requiring a detailed plan of care for children to be filed with the courts; establishing a process for monitoring all children in care; and supporting youth in need of protection for longer periods as they transition into adulthood.
Other highlights include recognizing the risk of emotional harm as grounds for protective intervention and introducing a new statutory legislative review process. Overall, the new legislation will serve to better protect children and provide greater clarity to staff, community, clients and the courts.

Organizations: Youth and Family Services

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