UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

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Does the province have procedures in place for responding to unaccompanied minors?

BC

AB

SK

MB

ON

QC

NB

NS

PEI

NF

yes¹

no

no

yes

yes

yes¹

No

no

?

yes

¹ The information received through the call to the department is not consistent with the information gathered online.

BC:
In British Columbia, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has a Migrant Services team that provides representation at IRB hearings as well as reception, screening and placement services for unaccompanied minors. It provides a combination of legal and social services to unaccompanied minors

The situation for separated refugee children is less satisfactory in British Colombia. In this province the Ministry of Children and Family Development decides to place children in care or to “remove” them to their home country. However, the Ministry does not stay involved in the lives of the children unless it acts as a child's Designated Representative. (http://www.du.edu/gsis/cord/criic/abstracts/children.html)

Response from Ministry
This would be a case of federal responsibility, they would lead. If they need resources from the province, they would contact settlement services or the ministry for child and family services.
Immigration and Policy Branch, Victoria

 

AB:

Response from Ministry
There would be a lot of questions like why did the child come and who sent it. How do they know that the child is arriving? It would be an anomaly. So there is no general answer about what would happen. But perhaps the child would be placed in a foster family. But the person did never have a case like this.
Children and Youth Services crisis unit

SK :

Response from Ministry
They could not give any real information. They do not think that this has ever happened in Saskatchewan. If there is a child arriving at the airport, it would be Immigration Canada who will act.
Family Support and Child Protection Services Intake

MB:
Response from Ministry
The agency reports about arrangements made for the child by the family, makes an assessment, if there is no plan made by the family, child protection officers will intervene and act on a case by case basis for example finding a foster family, regarding school resources, try to contact the child’s family to get to know if it is not better/possible to send the child back
Child Protection Branch 

ON:
The Children’s Aid Society and the Catholic Children’s Aid Society provide child protection services for minors up to the age of sixteen.

Ontario has the most numbers of refugee children but the least satisfactory system of dealing with these children. Child welfare agencies only deal with children under the age of 16. These agencies also need a formal wardship order from the Ontario Court to act as guardians of the children. No formal agreement exists to provide unaccompanied refugee children with a Designated Representative. Instead, the Immigration and Refugee Board developed a list of immigration lawyers who, when requested, act as Designated Representatives. (http://www.du.edu/gsis/cord/criic/abstracts/children.html)

Response from Ministry:
If they are arriving at Pearson International, they are controlled by CIC and (the person was not sure at all) perhaps detained. CAS is responsible for children under 16 but not could give me real information because children are not allowed to enter Canada without an adult. They look at any specific situation for getting more information (why the child is alone, are there relatives etc.). If there is really nobody to look after the child they would put it into a foster family. There is the possibility that for the beginning, the child is under the custody of the immigration office until the situation is clarified.
Children’s Aid Society

QC:
Quebec has a special para-public organization, Service d'Aide aux Réfugies et SARIMM acts as the Designated Representative for children during their asylum cases, helps children contact relatives who may already reside in Canada, and places children with families from a similar ethnic background if they are without relatives. SARIMM also helps children apply for permanent resident status if their refugee claim was successful. Each minor has two assigned social workers: one who is dealing with the IRB (under the terms of the official agreement concluded between IRB and Quebec) and one with the settlement services. Non accompanied minors do not have the right to access to social and jurisdictional services.
http://www.du.edu/gsis/cord/criic/abstracts/children.html

Response from Ministry
This problem does not exist because it is impossible that children arrive without parents because it is not allowed by law.
Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés Culturelles

NB:
Response from Ministry
They never heard about this kind of cases because there has to be somebody who sends the child for example the UNHCR but they would not send an unaccompanied minor. If there would be a case, it is to be supposed that there would be the Youth department who acts and place the child into a foster family.
Immigration (Population Growth Secretariat)

NS :
Response from Ministry
If there is a child arriving at the airport without any person responsible, child protection would be called for an assessment and the determination whether there is a person to take care of the child. If there is not, child protection would get involved and probably design a foster family. But they never had such a case and this would need a case by case determination, so there is no automatically processing.
Child Protection Services

PEI:
Response from Ministry
No reply for the moment.
Child Protection

NF:
Response from Ministry
Over the age of 16, a child is not considered as minor, so can be unaccompanied. If a child under 16 is arriving from another country, he or she has to be accompanied. If there is nobody, it is reported to the Child, Youth and Family Services Office for an assessment. If there is no contact person for the child in the country, they will organize a social worker for assistance and place the child in a foster arrangement
Child Protection Services Intake Office