Community Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island (CLIA PEI) - Legal Information for Youth


Child Protection

What can I expect if I go into foster care?

Child Protection

Where can I go for help?

If you need emergency help, call 911.

Child Protection Information

You can call Child Protection:

... or check out these:

If you want help dealing with the justice system, contact Victim Services:

Charlottetown office:

Summerside office:

Kids Help Phone

What about my brothers and sisters?

The social worker will try to keep you together. Every family situation is different and it may not always be possible for brothers and sisters to stay together. If you are separated it may be possible for you to visit and keep in touch.

What can I take with me?

Usually, you will be able to pack a bag with your clothes and some other items. In an emergency, it may not be possible for you to bring anything from home. Your social worker will make sure you have clothes and other items you need. He or she will try to get your belongings from your home if it is possible.

How long will I be in care?

Before you can move home, your parents must be able to care for you and your home must be safe. If it is not safe for you to return to your parents' home, you will remain in care until you are old enough to live on your own or until you are adopted.

Can I see my family and friends?

You have the right to have relationships with people who are important to you. This includes both visits and phone calls. Some family members and friends may not be allowed to contact you or they may only be able to see you with your social worker. Your social worker can explain any restrictions.

What if I don't like where I'm living?

Your caregivers and social worker want to help you adjust to life away from your parents. Let them know if you have concerns or if you are unhappy. It may not be possible to change where you are living or to change rules you do not like.

If you do not feel safe where you are living, tell your social worker immediately or call the numbers at the top or bottom of these pages. Your safety is always the most important consideration.

Can I go to the same school and activities?

If it is possible and safe for you, your social worker will try to make plans for you to go to the same school and take part in the same activities. If you cannot go to the same school, your social worker will explain why.

Can I make my own decisions?

If you are under the age of 18 and someone reports a concern about abuse or neglect, Child Protection may investigate. The social worker will assess the situation and may work with your parents to make sure you are safe.

If you are 16 or older and capable of understanding an agreement, you can make an agreement about your safety and care with the social worker. However, for this to happen, one of the following must be true:

  • Child Protection is unable to get consent from your parents, despite reasonable attempts
  • you no longer live with your parents
  • involvement of your parents is not in your best interests, or
  • serious difficulties exist between you and your parents and it would be impractical to try to make an agreement through your parents.

If you are 16 or older and capable of understanding an agreement, and you refuse Child Protection Services, you will not be forced to accept services unless ordered to do so by the court.

When can I leave care?

If you are in temporary care, you can leave care when a plan has been made for you and it is safe to return home.

If you are in permanent care, you will leave care if you are adopted into a new family.

If you are over the age of 16 and in temporary care, you can decide if you want to stay in care. This is a serious decision and you should talk to your social worker. When you turn 18, you are an adult and no longer in care. If you are in permanent care and turn 18, you may ask for extended services until the age of 21.