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


Child Protection

What happens during an investigation?

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

Least Intrusive Plan: Child Protection will work with your parents to make a plan for your care. This is an agreement between your parents and someone who is a support to them (extended family, friend, neighbour). Your parents agree to have you live with the person or for the person to help your family until it is safe for you to live with your parents. Your social worker must agree that this is a safe plan for you.

A Voluntary Agreement: Your parents may make an agreement with Child Protection for you to be in care. Your parents and Child Protection make an agreement about what your parents must do to improve the situation at home to care for you properly. For example, your parents may need to take a course on anger management or see a counsellor. Your parents agree to have you stay in a foster home or a group home during this time. Voluntary agreements can be temporary or permanent.

Temporary care happens when your parents agree to have you stay in a foster home or group home while they get help.

Permanent Care happens sometimes when parents decide they cannot properly care for their children or Child Protection decides that the parents cannot properly care for their child. In this case, the parents may give permanent care of the child to Child Protection. This means social workers would make decisions about where you will live and who will provide your care. This does not happen often.

Apprehension happens when there is a reason to be concerned about your safety and your parents are unable or unwilling to make a plan for your safety. You will be taken into care immediately.

When someone reports a concern about your well-being to Child Protection, a social worker will ask questions, gather information and decide if there should be an investigation. The police may also be involved.

A social worker may talk to you about your family and your life at home. They may interview your parents, family, teachers, or neighbours. The social worker will explain why Child Protection is concerned about your safety, but they cannot tell you who reported concerns about your situation.

You can ask to have someone you trust with you when you talk to the social worker.

It is the goal of Child Protection to keep families together if it is best for the child. Children who cannot live with their parents may be able to live with other family members. If this is not possible, the child may be placed in a foster home or a group home during the investigation. This is called "being in care".

Once the investigation is complete, the social worker will decide what should happen. If there is reason to be concerned about your safety and your parents agree to work with Child Protection, some different things can happen.

It is possible nothing will happen and you will stay with your parents.

If it is not safe for you to live at home, a social worker will find a safe place for you to stay if your parents cannot find one for you. You may stay there until the social worker working with your parents makes sure it is safe for you to live at home.