What are my rights as a Youth in Care

As a young person in Care in British Columbia you have rights. You have the right to be yourself, to be heard, to be healthy and to be safe. The adults and service providers in your life have a responsibility to make sure that your rights are being respected and upheld. In this info page you will learn about your rights and what to do if you feel they aren’t being respected.

What are my rights as a Youth in Care?

  1. To be fed, clothed and nurtured according to community standards and to be given the same quality of care as other children in your placement.
  2. To be informed about your plans of care.
  3. Be consulted and express your views, according to your abilities, about significant decisions affecting you.
  4. Reasonable privacy and to possession of your personal belongings.
  5. Be free from corporal punishment.
  6. To be informed of the standard of behaviour expected by their caregivers or prospective adoptive parents and of the consequences of not meeting the expectations of the caregivers or prospective adoptive parents, as applicable.
  7. Receive medical and dental care when required.
  8. To participate in social and recreational activities if available and appropriate and according to your abilities and interests.
  9. To receive religious instruction and to participate in the religious activities of your choice.
  10. To receive guidance and encouragement to maintain your cultural heritage.
  11. To be provided with an interpreter if language or disability is a barrier to consulting on decisions affecting your custody or care.
  12. Privacy during discussions with members of your families, subject to subsection (2).
  13. Privacy during discussions with a lawyer, the representative or a person employed or retained by the representative under the Representative for Children and Youth Act, the Ombudsperson, a member of the Legislative Assembly or a member of Parliament.
  14. To be informed about and to be assisted in contacting the representative under the Representative for Children and Youth Act, or the Ombudsperson;
  15. To be informed of your rights, and the procedures available for enforcing your rights, under this Act, or the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  16. In addition to the rights set out in subsection (1), Indigenous children and youth have the right to

(a)receive guidance, encouragement and support to learn about and practise your Indigenous traditions, customs and languages, and

(b)belong to your Indigenous communities.

What can I do if my rights aren’t being respected?

  • Talk to your MCFD or DAA social worker to try to resolve the issue.
  • Call and ask to speak to an MCFD complaints specialist 1-877-387-7027.
  • Speak with an advocate at the Representative of Children and Youth in BC
    • Who can access supports from the RCY?
      • Children and youth in care and on youth agreements, in custody and youth with special needs transitioning to adult services.
      • Young adults between 19 and 24, who are eligible to receive services from Community Living BC and who received a reviewable service within 15 months of their 19th birthday.

Learn more about what the RCY offers here.

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