The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth serves youth in state care and the margins of state care through individual, systemic and policy advocacy. The Office strives, at every level of its operation to be an exemplar of youth participation.
The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (“Advocate's Office”) is an independent voice for Ontario's children and youth who are either “in care” or on the margins of government care. Reporting directly to the Legislature, the Provincial Advocate partners with children and youth to elevate their voices and promote action on their issues.
The children and youth who fall within the mandate of the Advocate's Office include those who are seeking or receiving services from the children's services sector in areas such as child welfare, youth justice, children's mental health, developmental services and children’s treatment services. The jurisdiction of the Office also includes students of the provincial and demonstration schools, youth in court holding cells or being transported to and from court holding cells, First Nations children and youth, and children and youth with special needs.
The Provincial Advocate derives authority from the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007. In response to a request, a complaint, or on its own initiative, the Provincial Advocate acts on behalf of concerns of individuals or groups of children or youth and can undertake reviews, make recommendations, and provide advice to governments, facilities, systems, agencies, or service providers.
Guided by the principles of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the right to be heard, the Provincial Advocate strives to be a model of meaningful child and youth participation in every aspect of its work.
2014 Report to the Legislature
I Have Something To Say - Sammy's Submission Video
"I Have Something to Say" : Youth Advisors Speak
#ABetterNet: Children & Youth and Social Media
Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth supports report, Without Denial, Delay or Disruption and urges provincial and federal government to stand by their commitment to First Nations children
AUDIO: "I have something to say". That is the title of a new website being launched today. It hopes to give voice to young people with special needs. Matt Galloway spoke with Irwin Elman. He is the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.
Irwin's Speech at Sheridan Convocation 2012
The Convention on the Rights of the Child
"Children's Anthem" by Rosanne Howell
November of 2011 marked a very special time for any child in and from Child Welfare Systems. In Ontario, the youth themselves, held hearings at Ontario's Legislative Assembly, to address the issue of youth aging out of care, too early, without support.
As a former youth in care, Rosanne Howell was asked to perform her song, "Children's Anthem"; her testimony at the hearings. The song was written for any child who has, or still does, suffer. It is meant to encourage. It also expresses the feelings of what it is like to live in care.
You Are Not Alone Campaign Videos
Youth Leaving Care Hearings Report