Youth Protection Lawyers

When the DYP gets involved in your family, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer

The Director of Youth Protection (the “DYP”) intervenes in a family when there are reasons to believe the security and development of a child is compromised. If the DYP gets involved in your family, it can be an overwhelming and difficult time. However, you have the right to be assisted by a lawyer and the JURINOVO team help you navigate through all the steps in order to have proper representation and understand the different procedures. We adopt a collaborative approach and advocate on your behalf to defend your interests and those of your children.

Have you been contacted by a worker from the Director of Youth Protection (the “DYP”)? Do you have a court date at the Court of Quebec, Youth Division? Contact us to hire a lawyer and have our voice heard.

The Youth Protection Act requires the DYP to intervene to protect a child in situations of abuse towards a child. Most of the time, such situations are brought to the attention of the DPJ by telephone. Reporting a situation of abuse can emanate from a family member, a neighbour, teachers or any person suspecting a situation of abuse. When a report is withheld, the DYP assesses the child’s situation and living conditions.

The DYP will assess the child’s situation and decide whether or not further investigation is required. If the DYP decides to close the file after the first call, the information will remain with the DYP For two years. Even if a report is not retained, the DYP can offer assistance and support to parents and guide them towards relevant and available resources in their community, if needed.

When the DYP decides to withhold a report, the DPJ makes a more in-depth assessment of the situation and begins an investigation into the facts.

The DYP takes into account, amongst other things, the nature, severity, duration and frequency of the reported incidents, age and willingness of parents to correct the situation and the resources in the community that can assist the child and his or her parents. When the assessment is completed, the DPJ decides whether the child’s development or safety is compromised or not.

If the child needs urgent protection, the DYP can put measures in place for 48 hours. For example, it may remove the child from the family environment, entrust the child to a family member, a foster family or a rehabilitation centre. The DYP can also decide to restrain the contact between the child and his parents or with third parties. After 48 hours, if protection measures are still needed, the DYP may request their extension.  The parents can agree to an extension of 30 days.

If the parents or a child aged 14 or more disagree with the proposed agreement, the DYP must refer the matter to Youth Court. The judge who is seized of the file will then decide if the protection measures should be extended or not.

Si les parents ou l’enfant (âgé de plus de 14 ans) sont en désaccord avec l’entente proposée, la DPJ doit soumettre la situation de l’enfant au tribunal qui décidera s’il est nécessaire ou pas de prolonger les mesures.

Sometimes third parties may be able to request an intervention in a case that involves a child when they are directly involved. This could be the case for a grandparent or foster family member who can ask the court for permission to intervene in certain proceedings. If the court finds it appropriate for them to participate in the hearing as a party, it may grant the intervention. They may also be called to testify if they are summoned by the parents or the DYP.

During any DYP intervention, the child and the parents have rights that must be respected. Here are some examples:

  • Right to be consulted at all stages of the intervention and in the search for solutions.
  • Right to be informed by the DYP about the different steps of the procedure and protection measures chosen to correct the situation.
  • Right to have their views heard in any meetings with DYP professionals or in Youth Court;
  • The right to consult and be represented by a lawyer;
  • The right to object to certain decisions of the DYP and have the court decide on the measures;
  • Right to receive adequate health and social services at all times;
  • The right of the child to receive adequate educational services;
  • Right of access to information in the child’s file by parents and children aged 14 and over.

If your family or family member is in the middle of a DYP intervention, whether it be at the stages of the investigation, protective measures or Youth Court hearings, our youth protection lawyers can help and assist you. We have experience in matters involved the DYP .  We represent parents and other third parties who wish to intervene in a DYP case.

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