A Director of Youth Protection (DYP) is appointed for each region of Québec. He is responsible for enforcing the Youth Protection Act (YPA) in his region. The YPA applies to children whose security or development is or may be considered to be in danger. These children are considered to be in difficulty and in need of protection. In the YPA, the term “child” refers to a person under 18 years of age. Therefore, the Act also applies to teenagers.
The DYP works out of an integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) or integrated university health and social services centre (CIUSSS) that provides protection and rehabilitation services for youth with adjustment problems, previously called “youth centres”. The DYP works in collaboration with all the resources in his region.
The DYP's role
The DYP intervenes with a child and his parents in the child’s interest and with respect for his rights. His intervention must aim to:
Put an end to the situation where the child’s security or development is in danger
Prevent the situation from happening again
The DYP intervenes mainly in situations where a child:
Has been abandoned
Is being neglected
Is being psychologically abused
Is being sexually abused
Is being physically abused
Has serious behavioural disturbances
Is facing a serious risk of being neglected or sexually or physically abused
Most of the time, these situations are brought to the DYP’s attention by telephone. This is called “reporting” or “making a report”. A report must be made for the DYP to be able to assess a child’s situation and living conditions.
The DYP is assisted by a team of caseworkers who carry out a number of duties which include:
Receiving reports about situations where children may be in need of protection
Determining whether reports should be accepted for assessment
If a report is accepted:
Assessing the child’s situation
Determining and applying measures to correct the situation
Reviewing the child’s situation
The DYP also has an obligation to help parents so that their child can continue to live with them or return to live with his family if he was removed from it. In some situations, it is not possible for the child to return to his family. The DYP is then responsible for providing the child with another living environment where he will have the stability he needs to develop.
Once a report has been processed, the DYP may decide not to accept the report for assessment. However, if he believes that the child or his parents need help, he must provide them with information about the services and resources available in their community. If the parents and the child agree, the DYP must also:
Advise them and personally refer them to these resources by making the initial contact
Forward any relevant information about the situation to the resource(s) in question (YPA, s. 45.2).