April 20, 2010
For immediate release
Minister Introduces Amendments to Child Protection Act
Community Services and Seniors
“There was an overwhelming response of Islanders who came forward to participate in the review and we would like to thank the many individuals and groups who made presentations, wrote submissions, and took part in the public and private consultations,” said Minister Sherry. “ I am confident the proposed amendments will help strengthen our ability to protect Island children from abuse and neglect.”
Comprehensive public consultations were held across the province by the Prince Edward Island Child Protection Act Review Advisory Committee. In addition, individuals and groups were invited to participate through written submissions either on-line, by email or mail. The report from the Advisory Committee highlighted the voices of many parents, families, professionals, community organizations, the aboriginal community, and child and family services staff.
The proposed amendments for the Child Protection Act include:
• clarifying the definition of a child to persons under 18 years or age;
• reordering the sections of the Act to follow service delivery;
• replacing the term “child welfare” with “child protection”;
• notifying a designated band representative for all child protection interventions with aboriginal children;
• including the involvement in, or exposure to, child pornography as a condition for a child to be in need of child protection; and
• lengthening the period of time between mandated reviews of the Act from three to five years.
The Child Protection Act provides the Department of Community Services, Seniors and Labour the legal authority to intervene for the protection of Island children from abuse and neglect.