New Law for Better Child, Youth and Family Services

Ministry of Children and Youth Services


Ontario has passed The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA).

The law came into force on April 30, 2018.

The legislation puts children and youth at the centre of decision-making, and supports more accountable, responsive and accessible child, youth and family services. It also strengthens oversight for children's aid societies and licensed residential services.

Key changes include:

  • Raising the age of protection from 16 to 18 through amendments to the Child and Family Services Act that came into force on January 1, 2018, and will be carried forward in the CYFSA to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking;
  • Strengthening the focus on early intervention, helping prevent children and families from reaching crisis situations at home;
  • Making services more culturally appropriate for all children and youth in the child welfare system, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis and Black children and youth, to help ensure they receive the best possible support; and,
  • Improving oversight of service providers, including children's aid societies, so that children and youth receive consistent, high-quality services across Ontario.
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