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The Child and Family Services Amendment Act

S.M. 1989-90, c. 3

Bill 30, 2nd Session, 34th Legislature

The Child and Family Services Amendment Act

(Assented to June 29, 1989)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. C80 amended

1           The Child and Family Services Act is amended by this Act.

Section 1 amended: "abuse"

2           The definition of "abuse" in section 1 is amended by striking out the words that precede clause (a) and substituting the following:

"abuse" means an act or omission of a parent or guardian of a child or of a person having care, custody, control or charge of a child, where the act or omission results in

Section 17 repealed and substituted

3           Section 17 is repealed and the following is substituted:

Child in need of protection

17(1)       For purposes of this Act, a child is in need of protection where the life, health or emotional well-being of the child is endangered by the act or omission of a person.

Illustrations of child in need

17(2)       Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), a child is in need of protection where the child

(a) is without adequate care, supervision or control;

(b) is in the care, custody, control or charge of a person

(i) who is unable or unwilling to provide adequate care, supervision or control of the child, or

(ii) whose conduct endangers or might endanger the life, health or emotional well-being of the child, or

(iii) who neglects or refuses to provide or obtain proper medical or other remedial care or treatment necessary for the health or well-being of the child or who refuses to permit such care or treatment to be provided to the child when the care or treatment is recommended by a duly qualified medical practitioner;

(c) is abused or is in danger of being abused;

(d) is beyond the control of a person who has the care, custody, control or charge of the child;

(e) is likely to suffer harm or injury due to the behaviour, condition, domestic environment or associations of the child or of a person having care, custody, control or charge of the child;

(f) is subjected to aggression or sexual harassment that endangers the life, health or emotional well-being of the child;

(g) being under the age of 12 years, is left unattended and without reasonable provision being made for the supervision and safety of the child; or

(h) is the subject, or is about to become the subject, of an unlawful adoption under section 63 or of an unlawful sale under section 84.

Subsection 18(1) repealed and substituted

4           Subsection 18(1) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Reporting a child in need of protection

18(1)       Subject to subsection (1.1), where a person has information that leads the person reasonably to believe that a child is or might be in need of protection as provided in section 17, the person shall forthwith report the information to an agency or to a parent or guardian of the child.

Reporting to agency only

18(1.1)     Where a person under subsection (1)

(a) does not know the identity of the parent or guardian of the child;

(b) has information that leads the person reasonably to believe that the parent or guardian

(i) is responsible for causing the child to be in need of protection, or

(ii) is unable or unwilling to provide adequate protection to the child in the circumstances; or

(c) has information that leads the person reasonably to believe that the child is or might be suffering abuse;

subsection (1) does not apply and the person shall forthwith report the information to an agency.

Subsections 18(3) to (6) rep. and sub.

5           Subsections 18(3) to (6) are repealed and the following is substituted:

Protection of informant

18.1(1)     No action lies against a person for providing information in good faith and in compliance with section 18.

Identity of informant

18.1(2)     No person shall, except as required in the course of a judicial proceeding, disclose to the family of a child reported in need of protection the identity of the informant under section 18 without the written consent of the informant.

No interference or harassment

18.1(3)     No person shall interfere with or harass an informant under section 18.

Director reports to professional organizations

18.2(1)     Where the director has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has caused a child to be in need of protection as provided in section 17 or has failed to report information in accordance with section 18, the director may report the person to the professional society or association or regulatory organization of which the person is a member or that governs the professional status of the person.

Professional organizations to investigate

18.2(2)     Where a professional society or association or regulatory organization receives a report on a person under subsection (1), the professional society or association or regulatory organization shall investigate the matter for the purpose of determining whether the professional status of the person ought to be reviewed or disciplinary proceedings commenced against the person.

Summary conviction offences

18.3        Where a person,

(a) through an act or omission of the person, causes a child to be a child in need of protection as provided in section 17;

(b) fails to report information as required under section 18;

(c) discloses the identity of an informant in contravention of subsection 18.1(2); or

(d) interferes with or harrasses an informant in contravention of subsection 18.1(3);

the person commits an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Subsection 19(1) repealed and substituted

6           Subsection 19(1) is repealed and the following is substituted:

Agency to investigate

18.4(1)     Where an agency receives information that causes the agency to suspect that a child is in need of protection, the agency shall immediately investigate the matter and where, upon investigation, the agency concludes that the child is in need of protection, the agency shall take such further steps as are required by this Act or are prescribed by regulation or as the agency considers necessary for protection of the child.

Report of conclusion

18.4(2)     Subject to subsection (3), where an agency concludes, after an investigation under subsection (1), that a child is in need of protection, the agency shall report its conclusion

(a) to the parent or guardian of the child;

(b) where there is no parent or guardian of the child, a person having full-time custody or charge of the child;

(c) to the person, if any, who is identified by the investigation as the person who caused the child to be in need of protection;

(d) in the case of a person under clause (c) whose employment

(i) involves the care, custody, control or charge of children, or

(ii) permits unsupervised access to children,

to the employer or the manager or supervisor at the place of employment;

(e) where the child attends school, to the principal of the school or the superintendent of the school division in which the school is located;

(f) to the child where, in the opinion of the agency, the child is capable of understanding the information and disclosure to the child is in the best interests of the child; and

(g) to the person who reported the information that gave rise to the investigation, except where disclosure is not in the best interests of the child.

Restrictions on disclosure

18.4(3)     An agency shall not report its conclusion under subsection (2) where a criminal investigation into the matter is pending.

Peace officer to report charges

18.4(4)     Where a peace officer lays an information charging a person with an offence under the Criminal Code or under this Act and

(a) the offence is based on alleged acts or omissions by the accused person in relation to a child; and

(b) the employment of the accused person

(i) involves the care, custody, control or charge of children, or

(ii) permits unsupervised access to children;

the peace officer shall immediately advise the employer, or, if the identity of the employer is not known or the employer cannot be promptly reached, the manager or supervisor at the place of employment, that the accused person has been charged.

Subsections 19(2) and (3) renumbered

7           Subsections 19(2) and 19(3) are renumbered as subsections 19(1) and 19(2).

Subsection 19(4) repealed

8           Subsection 19(4) is repealed.

Subsections 19(5) and (6) renumbered

9           Subsections 19(5) and 19(6) are renumbered as subsections 19(3) and 19(4).

Section 47 repealed

10          Section 47 is repealed.

Subsection 75(1) amended

11          Subsection 75(1) is amended by adding ", other than a proceeding under The Summary Convictions Act," after "All proceedings under Parts III and V".

Section 75 amended

12          Section 75 is amended by adding the following subsection:

Proceedings open to public and media

75(1.1)     With respect to a proceeding under The Summary Convictions Act pertaining to an offence under this Act, upon the application of a person who is involved in the proceeding or a portion of the proceeding, a court, where it is satisfied that conducting the proceeding or the portion in public would be harmful or injurious to the personal well-being of a person and that conducting the proceeding or portion in private would not be contrary to the public interest in the administration of justice, may, by order, direct

(a) that the proceeding or the portion be closed to the public and conducted in private; and

(b) that news reporters in attendance at the closed proceeding or portion not publish or broadcast evidence that is produced at or testimony that is given in the closed proceeding or portion.

Subsection 76(3) amended

13          Subsection 76(3) is amended

(a) by adding "or" after clause (f); and

(b) by adding the following as clause (g):

(g) where a disclosure or communication is required for purposes of this Act.

Section 86 amended

14          Section 86 is amended,

(a) in clause (h), by adding "the director or" after "by";

(b) by adding the following as clause (t):

(t) respecting procedures applicable to reporting information under section 18 and to actions by the director or an agency upon receipt of such information.

Coming into force

15          This Act comes into force on the day it receives the royal assent.