Have you witnessed a situation that concerns a child’s safety? Do you suspect that a child is being mistreated? You can report this confidentially to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP). In some cases, you have a duty to report it.
The Director of Youth Protection has offices all over Quebec. It can become involved when a child’s safety or development is in danger due to physical, sexual, psychological or other forms of abuse.
How to report a situation to the DYP
To report a situation to the DYP, you don’t have to be 100% sure there’s a problem. You can begin by calling or writing to your nearest DYP office, which is open 24/7. A DYP social worker can help you with the next steps.
The social worker will ask you for basic information about the child (for example, name, age, school or daycare, names of parents).
Then you’ll be asked to explain the situation you’re concerned about.
Duty to report
The DYP can become involved in the different situations described in the law. Anyone who suspects physical or sexual abuse must report it to the DYP, no matter what this person’s relationship to the child.
The duty to report goes even further for people such as teachers, daycare educators and healthcare professionals. They have a duty to report all situations that put a child’s safety or development in danger, including psychological abuse or neglect.
What happens next?
The DYP must decide if it will use the information received to investigate further and possibly recommend protection measures. If the DYP decides not to act after receiving a report, it will retain the information you provided for two years.
Your identity will always be kept confidential. If the child’s case ends up in court, you could be asked to testify. Even if you have to testify, nobody will know you reported the situation to the DYP. It’s quite possible that other people reported the same situation.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.