MPP McDonell’s Bill 54 to be Debated Tomorrow

March 4, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Bill 54 – the Right to Care Act – will be debated in the Legislature tomorrow (Thursday) during Private Member’s Business. MPP Jim McDonell submitted the Bill for discussion as PC Critic for Children and Youth Services, reviving Bill 88 which received all-party support during the previous Parliament.

 

“The current form of the Child and Family Services Act forbids a Children’s Aid Society from providing services to 16 and 17-year olds who reach out to them for help unless they’ve been a client before. It is our duty as legislators to ensure all children in Ontario can access the support system we put in place for them”

 

Bill 54 will allow a local CAS to make a temporary care arrangement for a 16 or 17 year old child who requests it, after the CAS determines the child’s family can’t care for him or her appropriately. A temporary care arrangement allows the child to live with another family and receive provincial services and supports as if they lived with their parents.

 

“Children aged 16 and 17 who need CAS care for the first time and can’t arrange for care are at a higher risk of homelessness and risky behaviours such as drug abuse and criminality” – MPP McDonell stated. “By allowing for an official care arrangement through a CAS, we can help these children attain their highest learning and social potential. Bill 88 received all-party support in the Legislature and died waiting for Third Reading when the election was called. It is time to bring former MPP Rod Jackson’s committed and passionate work to fruition and remove this discrimination against 16 and 17 year olds from the Child and Family Services Act.”