Welcome to the Child and Youth Advocate Website

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Youth Consultation

On behalf of the Child and Youth Advocate’s office, we ask that you share this survey with youth served by your agency. It is imperative that the youth from all facets of the province have a say in the upcoming Child Welfare Legislative Reform, and this tool was designed by the CYA office to give youth a direct line to government to voice where they feel change is most needed.


The deadline for survey submissions is February 22. Our office will also be holding small group discussions between February 10thand 19thon these, and other topics related to the reform and hope you will encourage the youth you support to participate. The small groups will offer youth an opportunity to cover important topics such as “How Can Social Development Better Support Youth Transitioning Out of Care” and “How Can New Brunswick Reduce the Number of Youth in Care”. As well, any form of art or expression inspired by this subject matter is also welcome as part of our data collection.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at or .

Projet de reforme Loi sur les services a la famille 3

Launch of 2020 State of the Child Report

20 November 2020

FREDERICTON (GNB) – On World Children’s Day, National Child Day and as part of the Child Rights Education Week, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate released its annual State of the Child Report today. The launch occurred during a virtual workshop offered as part of the ninth edition of the International Summer Course on the Rights of the Child.

This year’s report, entitled Protecting Child Rights in Times of Pandemic, which includes six recommendations, gives a snapshot of some of the challenges New Brunswick children and youth will have to overcome as the province moves forward and juggles the new realities of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while respecting child rights.

“This year’s emphasis is on learning from the negative impacts of the pandemic on children and youth, and preparing for the future with them foremost in mind,” said Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé. “We must ensure that we strive to give each child the tools to develop their full potential while tracking the well-being of the most vulnerable children and giving a voice to youth to plan for the future.”

Bossé said the data collected in the report reinforces the fact that governments, community groups and leaders need to ensure that they are helping all young people, especially the most disadvantaged. The advocate called on the government to examine wellness through the lens of child rights, create a Provincial Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, and work with youth to develop a Comprehensive Child and Youth Reimagine and Recovery Plan. He said much of the focus of the report is on meeting each child’s education and welfare needs and the importance of greater effort to achieve this in the face of losses incurred during the pandemic.

“New Brunswick school students were among the earliest and most seriously impacted over time in our country,” said Bossé. “While this measure likely contributed significantly to our early efforts at successfully containing the spread of the virus, the cost to children and families cannot be lightly dismissed. With the return to school this fall, the new normal in classrooms comes with a host of additional challenges for learners and staff. This report will make a significant contribution to our efforts to maintain educational opportunities and outcomes for children, while protecting all of their rights and advancing their well-being and best interests. With a focus commitment on learning from our success and shortcomings during this difficult period, I am optimistic that the province can continue to build on the improvements it has made in upholding children’s rights.”

World Children’s Day and National Child Day are celebrated on Nov. 20 each year to commemorate the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provides that all children should be treated with dignity and respect, have a voice, be protected from harm, be provided with their basic needs, and enjoy every opportunity to reach their full potential.

Child Rights Education Week is held from Nov. 15 to 21 and aims to celebrate and promote the rights of children and youth.

The International Summer Course on the Rights of the Child is an annual event where professionals who work with children or promote children’s rights offer seminars in collaboration with Continuing Education of the Université de Moncton. Participants are given the opportunity to create and maintain connections by sharing their experience and knowledge with other experts in the field of defending and protecting child rights.

Media Contact

Heidi Cyr, communications officer, Child, Youth, and Seniors’ Advocate Office, 506-453-5599, .

Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates supports introduction of Senate bill creating a national commissioner for children and youth

June 16, 2020 – The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) supports BILL S-217 an Act to establish the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada, tabled today in the Senate.
“Having a national voice to promote the rights and interests of children and youth, with particular attention to First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth and those who are members of other vulnerable communities such as immigrant and refugee youth, is important to our country,” said Del Graff, Alberta Child and Youth Advocate, and President of the CCCYA. “For many years, the CCCYA has lobbied the federal government to establish an independent federal commissioner for children and youth, and we are finally at the point where we may see one created.”
“Provincial and territorial advocates work hard in their respective jurisdictions on behalf of vulnerable children and youth,” said Jackie Lake Kavanagh, Newfoundland and Labrador Child and Youth Advocate, and Vice President of the CCCYA. “However, there is a significant gap in protecting children's rights in Canada without a federal counterpart. Creating an independent office at the national level would go far to address this current gap.”
If passed, the bill would grant the Commissioner the mandate to promote and protect the rights, well-being and views of children and youth, especially those who belong to a vulnerable group. The Commissioner would also be required to collaborate with Indigenous governing bodies to include Indigenous views and values in the Commissioner’s advocacy for Indigenous children and youth.
About the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates
The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates is an association of government-appointed children's advocates, ombudsman and representatives from 10 provinces and two territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. Advocates are independent officers of the legislatures in their respective jurisdictions.
Media Inquiries:
Tim Chander
Communications Manager
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (Alberta)
CCCYA Statements and Publications related to National Children’s Commissioner
March 2008 – CCCYA letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on child poverty calls for establishing an independent children’s commissioner. http://www.cccya.ca/images/english/pdf/Letter_to_Stephen_Harper_re_child_poverty_Mar_31_2008-copie.pdf p.2
• June 2010 – CCCYA position paper recommends creating a National Children’s Commissioner. http://www.cccya.ca/images/english/pdf/aboriginal_children_youth_advocates_position_paper_2010.pdf p.13
• November 2014 – CCCYA release reiterates 2010 call for creation of a National Children’s Commissioner http://www.cccya.ca/Images/english/pdf/17-11-2014_EnglishRelease_FINAL.pdf p.30
• March 2019 – CCCYA Statement of Children’s Rights in Canada reiterates CCCYA call for an independent parliamentary officer. http://www.cccya.ca/Images/english/pdf/0326%20Statement%20on%20Children%27s%20Rights%20EN-Final.pdf p.2

Child, youth and seniors’ advocate maintains operations through virtual office

30 March 2020

FREDERICTON (GNB)— The Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate is advising people that it continues to serve the public by telephone and email during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Adjusting to isolation in response to COVID-19 can bear a heavy burden on individuals and families,” said Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé. “During this period of reduction in government services our office remains closed but we will continue to accept your requests for assistance. New Brunswick’s most vulnerable population cannot be left in the dark.”

Those in need of advocacy services from the Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate may call, toll-free, 1-888-465-1100 or email ..

“We anticipate that it will not be possible to conduct investigations within normal time frames,” said Bossé. “We thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Bossé said that it is important to follow the guidelines from the chief medical officer of health and the government during this time, and that everyone has a role to play in reducing the curve and preventing the spread of the virus. He added that staying in touch with family members and neighbours by phone or social media can help people cope with feelings of stress from isolation.


During the present outbreak of COVID-19, Government of New Brunswick operations have shifted focus to maintain critical programs and services. This decision was made in consultation with New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

During this period of reduction in government services, our office will continue to accept complaints. We anticipate that it will not be possible to conduct investigations within normal time frames. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Advocate releases State of the Child Report 2019

Nov. 20, 2019

FREDERICTON (GNB) — The Office of the Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate released its 11th State of the Child Report today at an annual breakfast fundraiser hosted by NB Champions for Child Rights Inc.

The report’s release was part of Child Rights Education Week and also in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

“Over the past 30 years, advocates for the rights of children have worked towards substantial progress,” said Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé. “However, many challenges linger to ensure all 54 Articles of the UNCRC are upheld.”

Bossé noted some improvements.

“The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, highlighting the devastating impact language loss has on Indigenous rights and culture,” he said. “We see in the New Brunswick data how critically endangered First Nations languages are. But there is hope in the fact that, in our province, a significantly higher percentage of Indigenous youth view learning about their culture as important compared to non-Indigenous youth.”

“It is also very heartening to see that the number of incarcerated youths continues to drop, and also that a new Department of Public Safety policy reverses the practice of Sheriff Services handcuffing and shackling all youth in transport,” said Bossé. “Now it is allowed only if it is justifiable in exceptional circumstances.”

“Still, more work needs to be done, especially in relation to the troubling situations that are evident in the data for youth in poverty,” he said.

Read more ...

NB Child & Youth Advocate Annual State of the Child Breakfast, a fundraiser for Champions for Child Rights

 State of the Child Breakfast Facebook Cover

About this Event

You are invited to join Champions for Child Rights and the Child & Youth Advocate's office on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. for the State of the Child Breakfast. This fundraiser breakfast will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Fredericton, and will be the platform for the release of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate's 2019 State of the Child Report.

This year, the event will discuss the Right to Education for Children and Youth in New Brunswick and feature:

  • Welcome and Opening Prayer
  • Opening remarks from the President of Champions for Child Rights, Jacqueline Mcknight.
  • Greetings from Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dominic Cardy.
  • Youth Panel Presentation (YVC and Shaking the Movers)
  • Keynote presentation from Norman Bosse Q.C., Child, Youth & Seniors Advocate for New Brunswick.
  • Optional civil society workshop on " A New Model for Education (Green Paper and Rights Respecting Schools)” after the breakfast (from 10 a.m to 12 p.m). Please register with the FREE separate ticket for the workshop.

Tickets are $50 each, and tables of 8 may be purchased for $400. To register for the workshop please "purchase" an additional FREE Civil Society Workshop ticket.

Tickets for students are $25.

If you would like to attend the workshop and not the breakfast, please register by purchasing the FREE Civil Society Workshop ticket.

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Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates releases national paper on youth suicide

WINNIPEG, September 17, 2019 - The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) published A National Paper on Youth Suicide that calls on governments at the national, provincial and territorial levels to take concrete action to prevent youth suicide in Canada.
The paper consolidates research by the CCCYA members that led to the identification of three broad findings related to youth suicide: the impact of traumatic childhood experiences, the importance of service integration and continuity and how the voices of children and youth needs to be at the front of change.

"Suicide is the second most common cause of death amongst young people in Canada," said Del Graff, Alberta Child and Youth Advocate, and president of the CCCYA. "By ensuring communities are appropriately resourced, governments can play a key role in preventing these tragic deaths. While the rate of suicide is disproportionately high among Indigenous youth and requires particular attention, preventing suicide for all young people, including those at elevated risk, must be our collective priority."

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Advocate releases Behind Closed Doors report

Jan. 28, 2019 

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has released a report entitled Behind Closed Doors: A Story of Neglect.

The report stems from the review of a severe case of child neglect involving a family of five young children.

In February 2018, the advocate’s office gave the Department of Social Development formal notice of investigation of this case.

The advocate’s review found violations of the children’s rights to: 

  • be protected from all forms of violence including neglect,
  • a decent standard of living,
  • health services,
  • rest, leisure and engage in play, and
  • parental and state supports in their child-rearing, prior to their placement in care.

Read more ...

2020 State of the Child Report

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Behind Closed Doors

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