The law and your rights

The Quebec Civil Code states that young people cannot leave home or any other placement (temporary or permanent) which is like a home without your legal caregiver agreeing to it (Hanigan, 1997).  The Youth Protection Act (YPA) says that in some situations the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) must intervene if the safety or the development of a child is or could be in danger.  The DYP can, among other things, intervene if a minor shows signs of serious behavioral problems (section 38(f) of the Youth Protection Act).

For more information, you can consult the brochure “Your child’s situation has been reported to the DYP. What do you need to know?” by clicking on the following link:

This brochure explains all the steps youth protection will take when and if they are      informed of your situation.

This Youth Protection Act (YPA), or law also states that you and your caregivers should be able to give your opinions and be consulted at each step in the process.  The workers at a Youth Centre or community workers can also explain to you other ways that your rights can and should be respected and tell you about your responsibilities, for example:

  • Asking for advice from the Youth Centre users’ committee made up of young persons and parents who can help you make decisions.
  • Making a complaint to the local complaints official (the “commissioner of complaints and the quality of services”) at the Youth Centre.
  • Filing a complaint with the Quebec Ombudsman if the response from the “commissioner of complaints and the quality of services” was not what you had hoped for.

When you are living in an intensive supervision unit:

  • You have the right to communicate at any time with your parents, another family member, your social worker and your lawyer.  On the other hand, a judge or the Centre’s director can forbid you to communicate with certain people whom they consider to be a harmful influence on you.
  • If your parents or you do not agree with the decision of placing you in an intensive supervision unit, you can challenge this decision in a court that will treat your request as urgent.

Revising the means of protection:

The DYP, you or your parents can request that a court re-examine a decision or an order if new facts have come up since this decision was made.  These new facts must have a significant impact on the kind of placement you are in or supposed to be in, or on the reason for your being in this form of protection.

For all questions about your rights

Le Comité des usagers du Centre jeunesse de Montréal
(The users committee of the youth protection centres of Montreal)

Bureau des plaintes du Centre jeunesse de Montréal
(The complaints office of the youth protection centres of Montreal)

Bureau du service de l’Accès à l’information
(The office of access to information)

Bureau de l’Aide juridique – division jeunesse
(Legal Aid – Youth Division)

Association des avocats et avocates en droit de la jeunesse (Tribunal de la jeunesse)
(Association of youth rights lawyers)

Service de référence du Barreau de Montréal
(Legal reference services of Montréal)

La Chambre de la jeunesse, Cour du Québec
(The youth court of Quebec)

Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
(The Human Rights an Youth Rights Commission)