New year brings changes across province to protection services for youth

Posted: December 29th, 2017

Effective January 1, 2018, the Province of Ontario is increasing the age of protection to include all children under the age of 18. Previously the age of protection applied to children under the age of 16.

“We have prepared for this change and see it as a very positive step towards ensuring youth get the support they need and have better outcomes as they transition to adulthood,” says Thelma Morris, Executive Director of Tikinagan Child and Family Services. “This change means that youth ages 16 and 17 can access our services for child protection.”

The Ontario government passed Bill 89 in June 2017 which changes the legislation governing protection services. The Bill repeals the current Child and Family Services Act and enacts the Child, Youth and Family Services Act in its place, once proclaimed. Among the changes is raising the age of protection for youth up to their 18th birthday. This particular change comes into force January 1st.

Tikinagan Child and Family Services follows a dual mandate, from both the province of Ontario and First Nations. It is one of 53 Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario mandated under the Child and Family Services Act to protect children from harm. We are also mandated by our Chiefs to provide services that are culturally sensitive to the needs of Aboriginal children, families and First Nations.

To provide culturally appropriate services, Tikinagan has developed a very different way of providing services than mainstream Children’s Aid Societies. The vision, goal and principles established by the Chiefs for Tikinagan have been fully integrated with Indigenous values and service delivery policies and procedures into a unique service model called “Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin” which translates to “everyone working together to raise our children.”

“Raising the age of protection is very much in-line with our Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin service model, and ensures 16 & 17 year olds are protected and can access our services,” explains Morris. “It will support these youth as they move into adulthood and provide a stable circle of care. As with all our services, we will serve 16 & 17 year olds using Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin values and processes to ensure culturally appropriate services.”

For more information for youth, please click here to view the Ministry of Children and Youth Services information sheet for youth.

For information for service providers, please click here to view the Ministry of Children and Youth Services information sheet for youth-serving agencies.

For more information, or to enquire about services available at Tikinagan, please contact our Intake Department at (807) 737-3466 or 1-800-465-3624.