Child and Youth Protection

child and youth protection

The Child and Youth Protection Program (CYPP) at CHEO provides leadership within the hospital and community in assessing children and youth for suspected maltreatment (abuse and/or neglect). Our major emphasis is the provision of specialized medical services to children, youth and families where there is a question of abuse or neglect.

Our program consists of three pediatricians, a part-time social worker and an administrative assistant. The program’s services are based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), which not only serves Ottawa but also Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario.

Consultation is provided to community professionals (health, child welfare, police, legal) as well as to parents seeking advice. When required, we provide expert medical legal opinion, written documentation and/or court testimony.

The Child and Youth Protection Review Committee is a hospital-based multi-disciplinary team composed of representatives of key hospital and child welfare agencies. The Committee reviews all cases of children and youth that are reported by the hospital to a child welfare authority for suspected abuse or neglect. The Committee also reviews cases of children brought to the hospital by parents and others where a report of suspected abuse or neglect has already been made to a child welfare authority. Case review includes:

  • Provision of expert medical opinion related to the medical, psychosocial and risk aspects of children's current life circumstances
  • Formulation of a formal conclusion with recommendations for further management (i.e. intervention and treatment) within the hospital and the community
  • Placement of child protection alerts on the charts of children deemed to be at ongoing risk on the CHEO’s electronic alert system.

The Child and Youth Protection Review Committee reviewed a total number of 217 primary cases of child abuse and neglect in 2012.

The Children's Aid Societies in Ontario, the Youth Protection Services of Quebec and the Department of Family Services in Nunavut are the legal child welfare authorities in CHEO’s catchment area to which suspected abuse and neglect must, by law, be reported and they are responsible (sometimes with police) for the investigation of the reports.

The program also provides local, national and international leadership and advocacy in the development of services, policy and child maltreatment prevention programs, and the promotion of children’s rights and well-being.

Faculty members within the program teach medical undergraduates, medical residents, practicing physicians, allied health professionals and others. Faculty also conduct research and contribute to publications related to child abuse and neglect.

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