Quebec announces pilot project for youth protection mediation

The Quebec government announced a new pilot project Monday for a free and rapid youth protection mediation service.

The government states this was one of the recommendations made by the Laurent Commission on Children's Rights and Youth Protection.

The Special Commission on the Rights of Children and Youth Protection (CSDEPJ) was created in wake of the death of a seven-year-old girl in Granby in April 2019.

Youth protection mediation will be considered a new avenue before going to court, the government explains.

The goal is to help children avoid what can sometimes be negative repercussions of the traditional judicial process.

Mediation will take place if voluntary agreements are refused or if a suitable conclusion cannot be found.

At this stage, prosecutors with the department of youth protection (DPJ) will determine which cases can continue to mediation.

If the parties consent, the file will be referred to mediation and those involved will be convened.

The government says it believes this new service could lead to better child protection intervention and have a positive impact on their lives by reducing processing times.

The new service will be offered free of charge for a maximum of five hours.

It will be phased in gradually in the judicial district of Quebec City, with rollouts to other districts in 2022, to be announced at a later date.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 6, 2021. 

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