A better way

A better way

October 29, 2020

29 October, 2020

A 13-year-old racialized youth complained to us after her children’s aid society (CAS) called the police to transport her to a new group home – which they did by handcuffing her and placing her in the back of a police vehicle.

A 13-year-old racialized youth complained to us after her children’s aid society (CAS) called the police to transport her to a new group home – which they did by handcuffing her and placing her in the back of a police vehicle. She had refused to go to the new home because it was not in the city she had requested, and far from her home community.

Our Children and Youth Unit staff spoke with several CAS workers and the teen. We were told that the CAS only seeks police assistance in rare cases when youth refuse to be transported, or if there are safety concerns, but it did not have a formal policy on when to involve police. At our request, the CAS reviewed its practices, and as a result of this review, it acknowledged that involving police could result in some highly-charged situations, and the inadvertent criminalization of youth in care.

The CAS is working with police on their approach to dealing with youth, and now requires staff to obtain the service director’s approval before contacting police. It intends to create a formal policy, and will share it with our Office. The youth has since been moved to a foster home in the area she originally requested.

Learn more about the Children and Youth Unit which answers questions and takes complaints about child protection services.
Read about how we helped other people in our Selected cases.