Our vision is that the rights and interests of every child and youth are protected and respected and each child and youth has access to all the government services they require in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Mandate of the Advocate for Children and Youth is stated in Section 3 of the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
The ACY was established with a mandate to:
- Protect and advance the rights and interests of children and youth through the provision of advocacy services.
- Ensure that children and youth have access to services and that their complaints receive appropriate attention.
- Inform the public about the needs and rights of children and youth.
- Provide information and advice to government, agencies of the government and to communities about the availability, effectiveness, responsiveness and relevance of services to children and youth.
- Make recommendations to government regarding legislation, policies, programs and services designed to meet the needs of children and youth.
- Conduct independent reviews and investigations.
In carrying out her duties, the Advocate may:
- Receive and review matters related to individuals or groups of children and youth.
- Advocate or use alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve issues.
- Initiate and participate in case conferences, administrative reviews, mediation or other processes where decisions are being made regarding children and youth either individually or collectively.
- Meet and interview children and youth.
- Engage in public education.
- Make recommendations to government, agencies of government or communities regarding legislation, policies and practices respecting services or the rights of children and youth.
- Where alternative dispute processes are ineffective or inappropriate, conduct an independent investigation.
- Access information respecting a child or youth which is held by a government department or agency which is determined necessary to conduct the work of the Advocate.
- Enter a government or agency premises for the purpose of conducting a review or investigation.
- Publish reports related generally to the exercise and performance of his/her functions under the Act or to a particular case investigation by him/her.
- Submit an Annual Report to the House of Assembly.
Scope of the Office:
Section 2. (g) of the Child and Youth Advocate Act
The Office provides services to any child or youth under the age of 19 years old who is entitled to receive services from a department, agency or board of government. The age is extended to youth up to their 21st birthday where they are in a care or custody arrangement. The Advocate engages in both individual and systemic advocacy, public education and reviews and investigations on behalf of children and youth in the Province.
The Office operates from a rights-based perspective and applies the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as the basis for its advocacy work. Canada has ratified the Convention and as a result, legislation, policies and procedures that govern services and programs for children and youth should be reflective of those rights.
- Children and youth are our primary clients.
- Advocacy services must remain child focused.
- Children and youth must be treated with respect and their inherent dignity as human beings recognized.
- The right of privacy of the child, as well as all parties involved, must be respected in the advocacy process.
- Children and youth have the right to information and access to government services and programs.
- Children and youth have a right to speak, be heard and to participate in decision-making processes.
- Parents, extended family and significant others are natural advocates for children and youth.
- Actions are based on empowerment.
- Information is confidential unless there is risk of harm.
- Interventions are respectful, understanding and compassionate.
- Cultural diversity is recognized and respected.