The Law and Welfare of Children

ONLINE RESOURCE - The Constitution Act grants provinces and territories the authority to operate child welfare systems to intervene, when necessary, and to set legislation to govern those systems. In Alberta, the welfare of children is governed primarily by the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act. However, there is other provincial legislation that deals with significant issues related to the protection of children. These include:

  • Protection of Children involved in Prostitution Act (Please note Amendment to the Act: Bill 15, 2007)
  • Child and Family Services Authority Act
  • Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act
  • Drug Endangered Children Act
  • Protection Against Family Violence Act
  • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act

The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act is the piece of legislation that replaces the Child Welfare Act in the province of Alberta. The Act guides the actions of Child and Family Services workers, and explains the rights of the parents, guardians, and children affected in situations where a child is in need of intervention. 

Aboriginal Children

Provincial standards include a number of requirements for services to Aboriginal children.  These include matters such as consultation, special procedure and culturally relevant services for all Aboriginal children, including Métis and Inuit children.  There are 13 delegated First Nations child welfare agencies in the province that operate under complementary bi-lateral or tri-lateral agreements.  One other agency has arrangements with the province to have its staff delegated.   Non-delegated First Nation agencies provide support services in partnership with the local Child and Family Services Authority, which carries out its child protection responsibilities in consultation with the Band or agency.

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