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On 14 July 2015, the Supreme Court of B.C. handed down an unprecedented judgment J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), 2015 BCSC 1216. This is the first case in Canadian legal history in which child protection workers are found liable for misfeasance in public office, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the standard of care. Findings therein confirm our views and support the merit of our cause. Continuous litigations between JP and the MCFD are summarized in JP Aftermath. Our commentary on the Plecas Review Part 1: Decision Time was published on 4 January 2016. If you have evidence of misfeasance or abuse of children in foster care, please come forward and contact us.
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Representative for Children and Youth Act

[SBC 2006] CHAPTER 29

Assented to May 18, 2006

Part 1 — Interpretation

Definitions

1 In this Act:

"child" means a person under 19 years of age;

"critical injury" means an injury to a child that may

(a) result in the child's death, or

(b) cause serious or long-term impairment of the child's health;

"designated services" means any of the following services or programs for children and their families provided under an enactment or provided or funded by the government:

(a) services or programs under the Adoption Act, the Child Care BC Act, the Child Care Subsidy Act, the Child, Family and Community Service Act, the Community Living Authority Act and the Youth Justice Act;

(b) early childhood development and child care services;

(c) mental health services for children;

(d) addiction services for children;

(e) services for youth and young adults during their transition to adulthood;

(f) additional services or programs that are prescribed under section 29 (2) (a);

"director" means a director designated under the Child, Family and Community Service Act;

"personal information" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, but includes contact information as defined in that Act;

"public body" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

"representative" means the Representative for Children and Youth appointed under section 2 and, other than in sections 2 (1), (3) and (4), 4 (2) and (3) and 5, includes a person appointed under section 5 to act as the Representative for Children and Youth;

"reviewable services" means any of the following designated services:

(a) services or programs under the Child, Family and Community Service Act and the Youth Justice Act;

(b) mental health services for children;

(b.1) addiction services for children;

(c) additional designated services that are prescribed under section 29 (2) (b);

"special committee" means a special committee of the Legislative Assembly;

"standing committee" means, except in sections 18 and 21, the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth;

"youth" means a person who is 16 years of age or older but is under 19 years of age.

Part 2 — Appointment of Representative

Part 3 — Representative's Functions and General Powers

Functions of representative

6 (1) The representative is responsible for performing the following functions in accordance with this Act:

(a) support, assist, inform and advise children and their families respecting designated services, which activities include, without limitation,

(i) providing information and advice to children and their families about how to effectively access designated services and how to become effective self-advocates with respect to those services,

(ii) advocating on behalf of a child receiving or eligible to receive a designated service, and

(iii) supporting, promoting in communities and commenting publicly on advocacy services for children and their families with respect to designated services;

(a.1) support, assist, inform and advise young adults and their families respecting prescribed services and programs, which activities include, without limitation,

(i) providing information and advice to young adults and their families about how to effectively access prescribed services and programs and how to become effective self-advocates with respect to those services and programs,

(ii) advocating on behalf of a young adult receiving or eligible to receive a prescribed service or program, and

(iii) supporting, promoting in communities and commenting publicly on advocacy services for young adults and their families with respect to prescribed services and programs;

(b) monitor, review, audit and conduct research on the provision of a designated service by a public body or director for the purpose of making recommendations to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of that service, and comment publicly on any of these functions;

(c) review, investigate and report on the critical injuries and deaths of children as set out in Part 4;

(d) perform any other prescribed functions.

(2) In this section, "young adult" means a person who

(a) is 19 years of age or older but is under 24 years of age, and

(b) received a reviewable service within 15 months before the person's 19th birthday.

Part 4 — Reviews and Investigations of Critical Injuries and Deaths

Investigations of critical injuries and deaths

12 (1) The representative may investigate the critical injury or death of a child if, after the completion of a review of the critical injury or death of the child under section 11, the representative determines that

(a) a reviewable service, or the policies or practices of a public body or director, may have contributed to the critical injury or death, and

(b) the critical injury or death

(i) was, or may have been, due to one or more of the circumstances set out in section 13 (1) of the Child, Family and Community Service Act,

(ii) occurred, in the opinion of the representative, in unusual or suspicious circumstances, or

(iii) was, or may have been, self-inflicted or inflicted by another person.

(2) The standing committee may refer to the representative for investigation the critical injury or death of a child.

(3) After receiving a referral under subsection (2), the representative

(a) may investigate the critical injury or death of the child, and

(b) if the representative decides not to investigate, must provide to the standing committee a report of the reasons the representative did not investigate.

(4) If the representative decides to investigate the critical injury or death of a child under this section, the representative must notify

(a) the public body, or the director, responsible for the provision of the reviewable service, or for the policies or practices, that may have contributed to the critical injury or death, and

(b) any other person the representative considers appropriate to notify in the circumstances.

Reports after reviews and investigations

16 (1) The representative may aggregate and analyze the information received from the reviews and investigations conducted under sections 11 and 12 and produce a report of the aggregated and analyzed information that does not contain information in individually identifiable form.

(2) The representative must provide a report made under subsection (1) to the following:

(a) the standing committee;

(b) the public body, or the director, responsible for the provision of a reviewable service that is a subject of the report;

(c) any other public body, director or person that the representative considers appropriate.

(3) After an investigation of the critical injury or death of a child under section 12, the representative must make a report on the individual critical injury or death of the child.

(4) A report made under subsection (3) must contain the representative's reasons for undertaking the investigation and may contain the following:

(a) recommendations for

(i) the public body, or the director, responsible for the provision of a reviewable service that is a subject of the report, or

(ii) any other public body, director or person that the representative considers appropriate;

(b) personal information, if, in the opinion of the representative,

(i) the disclosure is necessary to support the findings and recommendations contained in the report, and

(ii) the public interest in the disclosure outweighs the privacy interests of the individual whose personal information is disclosed in the report;

(c) any other matters the representative considers relevant.

(5) A report made under subsection (3) may be provided to any person that the representative considers appropriate and must be provided to

(a) the standing committee,

(b) the public body, or the director, responsible for the provision of a reviewable service that is a subject of the report, and

(c) the public body, or the director, that is a subject of recommendations in the report, if not already provided the report under paragraph (b).

(6) to (8) [Repealed 2007-5-15.]

Part 5 — Administrative and General Provisions

Confidentiality

23 (1) Before beginning to exercise his or her powers and perform his or her functions and duties under this Act, the representative must take an oath before the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly

(a) to faithfully and impartially exercise the powers and perform the functions and duties of the representative, and

(b) not to divulge any information received under this Act, except as permitted under this Act.

(2) Before beginning to exercise his or her powers and perform his or her functions and duties under this Act, each deputy representative appointed under section 7 (1) (a) must take an oath before the representative

(a) to faithfully and impartially exercise the powers and perform the functions and duties delegated by the representative to the deputy representative, and

(b) not to divulge any information received under this Act, except as permitted under this Act.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the representative is a commissioner for taking affidavits in British Columbia.

(4) The representative and a person appointed, employed or retained by the representative under section 7 (1) or (4) or 15 must, except as specifically authorized under this Act, maintain confidentiality in respect of all matters that come to their knowledge in the exercise of powers and the performance of functions and duties under this Act.

(4.1) Despite any other provision of this Act except subsection (7) of this section, on the request of any person, the representative may disclose information, including personal information, if, in the opinion of the representative,

(a) the disclosure is necessary to confirm the representative is performing, has performed or intends to perform one or more of the functions set out in section 6 (1) (a) to (c) in respect of an individual, and

(b) the public interest in the disclosure outweighs the privacy interests of any individual whose personal information is disclosed.

(5) The representative and a person appointed, employed or retained by the representative under section 7 (1) or (4) or 15 must not give or be compelled to give evidence in a court or in proceedings of a judicial nature in respect of any matter coming to their knowledge in the exercise of powers and the performance of functions and duties under this Act, except

(a) to enforce the representative's powers of review and investigation,

(b) to enforce compliance with this Act, or

(c) with respect to a trial of a person for perjury.

(6) [Repealed 2008-42-123.]

(7) Subject to subsections (5) and (8) (a), the representative and a person appointed, employed or retained by the representative under section 7 (1) or (4) or 15 must not disclose information that could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a person who has made a report under section 14 of the Child, Family and Community Service Act.

(8) Subsection (7) does not apply if

(a) the person who made the report consents to the disclosure.

(b) [Repealed 2008-42-123.]

Power to make regulations

29 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations authorized by section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) for the purposes of the definition of "designated services", prescribing an additional service or program that is

(i) provided, authorized or funded under an Act,

(ii) provided, authorized or funded by a ministry or agency of the government, or

(iii) provided in a facility or class of facilities licensed or regulated under an Act;

(b) for the purposes of the definition of "reviewable services", prescribing an additional designated service that is a reviewable service;

(c) prescribing other functions of the representative;

(c.1) for the purposes of section 6 (1) (a.1), prescribing services and programs that are

(i) provided, authorized or funded under an Act,

(ii) provided, authorized or funded by a ministry or agency of the government, or

(iii) provided in a facility or class of facilities licensed or regulated under an Act;

(d) respecting the qualifications of a deputy representative or the procedures for appointing a deputy representative;

(e) respecting matters relating to the establishment of a multidisciplinary team, including appointment criteria and procedures;

(f) [Repealed 2007-5-22.]

(g) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(h) respecting any matters that are necessary for the orderly transition from the application of the Office of Children and Youth Act to the application of this Act.

(3) In making regulations under this section, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may do one or more of the following:

(a) in relation to regulations under subsection (2) (a), prescribe different services or programs for the purposes of different provisions of this Act;

(b) in relation to regulations under subsection (2) (b), prescribe different designated services for the purposes of different provisions of this Act;

(c) in relation to regulations under subsection (2) (d), set different qualifications or different procedures for the appointment of deputy representatives carrying out different functions;

(d) make different regulations for different persons or classes of persons;

(e) make different regulations for different geographical areas in British Columbia;

(f) delegate a matter to a person;

(g) confer a discretion on a person.

Part 6 — Transitional Provisions

Consequential Amendments

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of sections 31 to 37.]

Section(s) Affected Act
31–34 Child, Family and Community Service Act
35–36 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
37 Office for Children and Youth Act

[This page was added on 12 November 2013, last revised on 12 November 2013.]