Call 911 if you or the person you are reporting is in immediate danger.
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-5437 (KIDS) to get help if you, or children you know, are being neglected, abused or sexually exploited. If you believe a child is at risk, you must report it. Help is available in multiple languages 24/7.
Child abuse, neglect and exploitation have many different warning signs. Learn to recognize them.
Children and youths’ rights
Rights are things everyone is allowed to have or do. Part of your caseworker’s job is to tell you about your rights, help you understand them, and answer any questions.
When you get help from Child Intervention services, you have the right to:
- have your rights explained to you in a way you understand
- live with people who care for and respect you and keep you safe
- keep your favourite things with you
- know why you were moved to a new location or out of your home
- have your opinions considered when plans are being made because what you think and feel are important
- be involved in decisions about you and know why they are made
- know your own story, culture and religion
- develop your own identity and be who you are
- contact your family and friends, and if you cannot, you get to know why
- be left alone to visit or talk with family as long as you are safe
- go to school like any other young person in Alberta does
- visit a doctor, dentist or other health professionals when you need to
- ask for and know information that is on your file
- know about the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and have help calling
- talk to your caseworker, advocate or lawyer by yourself
- learn to be the best person you can be and plan for your future
If you are an Indigenous child or youth, you also have the right to:
- remain connected to your culture and learn about your history and heritage
- access all applicable rights and benefits under The Indian Act if you are a First Nations child or youth
- access all applicable rights and benefits through the Métis Nation of Alberta if you are a Métis child or youth
- access all rights and benefits outlined through the federal government if you are an Inuit child or youth
- if you are Indigenous but not part of a treaty agreement or a Métis Nation, or eligible for Treaty Status under The Indian Act, you still have a right to be connected to your culture, spiritual beliefs or religion
If you are removed from sexual exploitation like prostitution and placed in a protective safe house, you have the right to:
- protection from sexual abuse and exploitation
- physical and emotional safety, security and well-being
- be informed in writing about:
- the reason you were removed from the risk situation
- how many days you must stay in a protective safe house
- court dates
- your right to a lawyer or other legal help
- contact with a lawyer
- ask for a court review of your placement in the safe house
Parents and guardians’ rights
When Child Intervention is providing services to your family, as a parent or guardian you have the right to:
- be part of your child’s planning
- question any decisions you do not agree with
- ask for an Administrative Review if you do not agree with a decision and want to resolve the dispute
- get advice from a lawyer about your involvement with Child Intervention – if you cannot afford one contact Legal Aid Alberta. Ask for our help with contacting Legal Aid Alberta if you’re not sure how
- go to any court hearings about you and your child
- contact Alberta’s Office of the Child and Youth Advocate about any decision that you believe is not in your child’s best interest
If you are asked to sign a Family Enhancement or Custody Agreement, you have a right to:
- get a copy of the agreement
- continue being your child’s guardian and be involved in all major decisions about them
- end the agreement at any time
If your caseworker applies for a court order you will receive an official notice about the court hearing. You have the right to:
- ask your caseworker to explain why a court order is needed, how the court process works and what happens next
- talk to a lawyer for advice or help opposing the application – if you cannot afford a lawyer contact Legal Aid Alberta
- go to any court hearings about you and your child and tell the judge what you think about the application
- get help from court supports, such as a court worker or family court facilitator – talk to talk to Legal Aid Alberta to learn more
You may have other rights that depend on:
- whether your child is staying at home or somewhere else
- the specific services they are receiving
Talk to your caseworker to learn more about all of your legal rights and responsibilities.
If your rights are not respected
Supports are available if you feel that your rights are not being respected, no one is listening or you need someone to stand up for you. You can get assistance by:
- Talking to your caseworker. Ask them to explain what your rights are. If you do not understand the answers or feel you were not heard, ask to speak to your caseworker’s supervisor. Your caseworker should give you that person’s name and phone number
- Using one of the dispute resolution options available to you.
- Calling the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and asking to speak to an advocate.
- Talking to a lawyer – if you cannot afford a lawyer, contact Legal Aid Alberta.
Parents and guardians’ responsibilities
When Child Intervention is involved with your family, it is your responsibility to:
- be involved in developing a safety plan that meets your and your child’s needs
- follow the safety plan and connect to supports that will help make your home a safer and healthier place
- let your caseworker know if you do not fully understand the intervention process, safety plan, court applications or next steps
- complete the tasks on the safety plan – ask your caseworker for help whenever you need it
There are some things you can always expect, no matter how Child Intervention is involved with your family. You caseworker also has responsibilities and you can expect them to:
- tell you about the concerns about child abuse, neglect or sexual exploitation that have been reported
- fully explain any concerns that come up through the report or when they are providing services to your family
- answer your questions
- explain any decisions they make about your child
- act in the best interest of your child
- repeat information if you want something explained more than once
You can also expect to:
- be treated with respect and dignity
- be able to express your opinions, thoughts or worries
- have your caseworker maintain regular and timely contact with you and your child
- express opinions to your caseworker about where your child should live, if they are removed from your care
- have contact with your child if it is safe and in the child’s best interests, after they have been removed from your care
- be able to get support from a trusted friend, family member, community agency, and/or First Nations or Métis representative
- have your support person join you at all meetings
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