Legal Mandates

Batshaw Youth and Family Centres (Batshaw Centres) offers services primarily under:

An Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services (ARHSSS)

This Act covers situations in which the general population can make requests for health and social services on a voluntary basis. Its main objective is to « maintain and improve the physical, mental and societal capacity of persons to act in their community and to carry out the roles they intend to assume in a manner which is acceptable to themselves and to the groups to which they belong ». It creates a complete network of establishments and organizations to which users can address their need for services. For children and youths, the offer of services is determined with the consent of either parent (ideally both). In certain cases, minors of 14 years or older can consent to services on their own.

The ARHSSS allows Batshaw Centres to offer placement services for children and youths under the age of 18. Requests for voluntary placement are, for the most part, forwarded by case workers in the Centres de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS). These require consent from either parent and the youth aged 14 or more.

For more information : An Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services (ARHSSS)

The Youth Protection Act (YPA)

The YPA (L.R.Q., Chapter P-34.1) has been in force in Quebec since 1979 and has seen several modifications. The most recent were implemented in 2007.

The YPA applies to  :

  • children and youth under the age of 18 whose security or development is or may be considered to be in danger.

The YPA stipulates that children and youth are in need of protection in any of the following 6 situations:

  • abandonment;
  • neglect;
  • psychological ill-treatment;
  • sexual abuse;
  • physical abuse;
  • serious behavioural disturbance.

The YPA readily acknowledges that « The primary responsibility for the care, maintenance and education of a child and for ensuring his supervision rests with his parents. » (s. 2.2). It favors the active participation of the parents and the child in making decisions and choosing measures that concern them, and in seeking the involvement of the community. It also states that « Decisions made under this Act must be in the interest of the child and the respect of his rights. » (s. 3).

The YPA makes it clear that « Every decision made under this Act must aim at keeping the child in the family environment.» (s. 4) and requires the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) to act accordingly while specifying that she must act diligently considering that a child?s perception of time differs from that of adults. To reinforce this notion and to favour continuity and stability in chidren?s lives, the most recent amendments to the YPA introduced a maximum duration of placement, depending on the age of the child. This enables the DYP to propose an alternative permanent plan for children if they cannot return to their natural parents within the prescribed delays.

For more information: The Youth Protection Act (YPA)

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)

Since 2003, the YCJA is applied when a youth, between the ages of 12 and 17, is involved in a criminal offence such as theft, vandalism, breaking and entering, use of drugs, etc.

In Quebec, expertise developed over the past 30 years has seen the implementation of many innovative practices and interventions which favour the rehabilitation of young persons who commit offences. Batshaw Centres adheres to this approach and is committed to this way of working.

Data concerning juvenile delinquency across North America consistently shows a significantly lower crime rate for young persons in Quebec when compared to other jurisdictions.

The YCJA clearly outlines the different types of measures that can be taken from the time of a young person?s arrest up to the completion of the measure or sentence. The nature of these measures can vary greatly depending on the seriousness of the offence and the young person?s willingness to amend his ways. In Quebec, the YCJA allows for three types of measures:

  • extrajudicial measures: They are applied by the police and can range from simple warnings to referrals to community organizations;
  • extrajudicial sanctions: They are applied by Batshaw Centres? youth workers following a referral from the prosecutor. They also vary greatly and can include counselling, community work, retribution to victims, etc.;
  • youth sentences: They are rendered by the Youth Court and applied by Batshaw Centres when follow-up is required. There are multiple possibilities that range from probation to open or closed custody.

For more information: The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)

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