The Ministry of Social Services provides support and services to 16 and 17 year old youth when:
- the young person cannot return to live with his or her family for reasons of safety; or
- there is no parent willing or able to take responsibility for the young person.
Social workers follow four guiding principles to determine whether the young person and his/her family receive services:
- All 16 and 17 year olds need adult support, guidance and direction – at least some of the time.
- Wherever possible, this support, guidance and direction should be provided by the young person’s family.
- It may be necessary to work with the young person’s family to help them become stronger and better able to deal with their stresses and problems, particularly problems related to parenting and/or family functioning.
- Helping 16 and 17 year olds through supportive (financial or residential) services should ensure there is an ongoing family connection, unless such a connection is not in the best interest of the youth.
Contact your nearest Social Services Office and talk to a social worker. He or she will:
- discuss concerns about safety issues due to abuse in the home;
- with the young person’s permission, contact one or both parents; or
- contact the young person’s school or others who may be able to provide additional information