N.B. Tables Improved Child Welfare Legislation

The Government of New Brunswick has introduced new child welfare legislation that will promote the interests, protection, participation and well-being of children, youth and families.

The Child and Youth Well-Being Act recognizes the importance of the child/youth’s connection to their family, culture, language, religion, faith or spiritual beliefs and community, especially for Indigenous children and youth.

“It will help modernize portions of the 40-year-old Family Services Act. The overall approach is child-centred, rather than parent-centred,” said Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch, in a release.

“It recognizes how early detection and intervention is critical in matters where the well-being of a child or youth may be at risk.”

The new legislation also includes a priority of placement that recognizes the importance of family, kin relationships and community when the child is not living with their parents due to safety concerns.

Officials say the new legislation promotes existing prevention work, such as birth parent services or youth engagement services.

The government hopes to proclaim the act by early 2023.

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