Child Welfare (1-5)

The number one issue in Child Welfare is the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care.

The majority of Indigenous children-in-care are First Nations (69.1%)

Current Reality

The 2021 census also found that 3.2 per cent of Indigenous children in Canada were in foster care, compared to just 0.2 per cent of non-Indigenous children in Canada.

Indigenous children accounted for more than half of all children in foster care, at 53.8 per cent, despite representing only 7.7 per cent of children 14 and under in Canada.

Despite the federal government’s efforts to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in foster care, the number of Indigenous children in foster care remains almost unchanged since 2016.

Progress on reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care can be viewed through three distinct lenses: Federal, Provincial and the Candian Human Rights Tribunal.

Federal Actions

April 7, 2022 – Budget 2022 announced $4B over 5 years to support long-term reforms to improve implementation of Jordan’s Principle and $280M over 5 years to support implementation of Indigenous child welfare laws.

Provincial Actions

Feb. 10, 2022: The Court of Appeal of Québec ruled that Bill C-92 “is constitutional, except for ss. 21 and 22(3), which are not”. These sections deal with the right of Aboriginal self-government and the regulation of Child and Family Services. As Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, professor of law at the Peter Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia says,” “The only kind of law that would be allowed under this decision is one that’s clearly subordinate to the provincial law…It’s a bit of a slam dunk for The Indian Act.

The Quebec Government launched a legal challenge in Quebec Court of Appeal on Dec. 19, 2019 to assess the constitutionality of Bill C-92: “An Act Respecting First Nations, Métis and Inuit Children, Youth and Families”.

Birth Alerts:
Since Sept. 16, 2019 six provinces have abandoned the use of Birth Alerts to apprehend Indigenous children at birth: BC (Sept. 16, 2019), Ontario (Oct. 15, 2020), Manitoba (June 30, 2020), PEI (Feb. 5, 2021), Saskatchewan (Feb 1, 2021) and New Brunswick (Oct. 29, 2021). Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Quebec practice birth alerts.

Canadian Human Right Tribunal

April 4, 2022 – University of Ottawa to conduct an independent review of Indigenous Services Canada “to identify ways it discriminates against First Nations children”. The review is part of the two Agreements-in-Principle reached with the federal government.

Jan. 4, 2022: Assembly of First Nations – Two Agreements-in-Principle have been reached on a global resolution related to compensation for those harmed by discriminatory underfunding of First Nations Child and Family Services ($20B) and to achieve long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle ($20B) to ensure that no child faces discrimination again.

0/5 CTAs have been completed to date


Commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care

In Progress


Publish annual child welfare reports: Indigenous vs non-Indigenous

Not Started


Fully implement Jordan’s Principle

In Progress


Enact Indigenous Child Welfare legislation

In Progress


Develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Indigenous families

In Progress

Featured Updates

Current Problems with
Child Welfare (1-5)

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Bill C-92

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Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

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Government and Institution Issues

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Systemic Racism

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Court Challenges

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Child and Youth Advocate Reports

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Jordan's Principle

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Background Information

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Child and Youth Advocate Recommendations

The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) is an association of children's advocates from across Canada who have mandates to advance the rights of children and youth and to promote their voice. Although the names of the offices and their legislative mandates vary, the advocates are all independent officers of the legislature in their respective jurisdictions. Through the Council, they identify areas of mutual concern, and work to develop ways to address issues at a national level.

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Child Welfare Reports

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Coroner Reports

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Indigenous Success Stories