The Advocate for Children and Youth has the responsibility to receive, review and investigate concerns regarding services provided to children and youth by the Government of Saskatchewan.
We believe that children and youth are entitled to an array of investigative options similar to adults and in December 2006, our Office delineated five areas of investigation under its mandate from The Advocate for Children and Youth Act, in order to provide children and their natural advocates with a full continuum of investigative services:
- Child Death Investigations
- Critical Injury Investigations
- Fairness Investigations
- Program and Services Investigations
- Mandatory Investigations (initiated upon referral by a Committee of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly Committee or Lieutenant-Governor in Council)
Regardlless of the type of investigation undertaken, the fundamental purpose is the same:
- To recommend changes in government legislation, policy and/or practice that will prevent future harm to children and youth.
- To improve the quality of services provided by child protection and other child-serving systems.
- To promote greater public accountability.
All of our investigations place the rights, best interests and well being of the child or youth at the centre. Investigations can vary from single issue to multi-issue and can involve many ministries, agencies and/or systems. Multi-disciplinary investigations undertaken are meant to analyze all relevant child-serving systems that have provided services to the child or youth in question.
For example, information from the Ministry of Social Services, First Nations child and family services agencies, the Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Policing Division, the Coroner’s Office, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health (including hospitals, public health, mental health and addictions services), civic police and the RCMP may have to be reviewed during a single investigation.