Petition by Justice for Children and Youth
Bill 88: Child and Family Services Amendment Act (Children 16 Years of Age and Older) significantly improves the equality of access to child welfare services for children and youth in Ontario. Ontario’s current legislation significantly restricts first-time entry into the child welfare system for children above the age of 16. Ontario remains the only jurisdiction in Canada that limits access to child welfare services for 16 and 17 year olds in this way.
Many of the young people who seek the assistance of Justice for Children and Youth (“JFCY”) are not eligible for child protection services simply on the basis of their age. Youth needing care for the first time after they turn 16 are left with few choices to sustain their safety and security, often leaving them with no option but the shelter system or the streets. Bill 88 will finally make it possible for 16 and 17 year olds who find themselves without the support of family, to voluntarily access child welfare support services.
The Bill will also incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Ontario’s child welfare legislation, a change to the law that is long overdue.
JFCY strongly supports the Bill as a first step towards broader child welfare reforms to support the safety and security of all children in Ontario.
On Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, with the support of this petition, the Bill passed the Committee stage at the Provincial Legislature. Now, it must be called to 3rd reading in the House before it becomes law. But we need your help! Sign this petition and JFCY will inform Minister Piruzza and Premier Wynne of your request to bring Bill 88 to 3rd reading. Every voice makes an impact, and we ask you to lend yours towards the long overdue legal changes to support our youth in need. You can also make a great impact by sending a letter directly to your MPP. See a template letter below in the comments.
Check out our press conference at 5min. on the attached video. Contact JFCY for any questions or how become more involved, and sign today!
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