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Updates to Child and Family Services Act Enhance Supports for Children and Youth in Care

Released on June 12, 2024

Today, The Child and Family Services Amendment Act, 2023, comes into force, resulting in improved outcomes for children, youth and families.  

"Today marks a significant step forward for the wellbeing of children and youth in Saskatchewan," Social Services Minister Gene Makowsky said. "With the implementation of The Child and Family Services Amendment Act, 2023, we are enhancing our commitment to support and nurture the most vulnerable members of our society. These updates ensure that children and families receive the care and resources they need to thrive, reflecting our dedication to fostering a brighter future for all." 

Amendments to the Act focus on three main areas: 

  • strengthening language in the Act to enhance family, community and cultural connections for children and youth; 
  • raising the legal age of the child from up to 16 years to up to 18 years of age; and 
  • increasing flexibility of information sharing, disclosure and confidentiality.  

The amendments prioritize the best interests of the child to recognize the unique cultural aspects of Indigenous children and requires preservation of the child's Indigenous identity, experience and connections in case planning. The legislation also broadens information sharing to include Indigenous Governing Bodies and expands notice to First Nations Child and Family Service agencies during various stages of planning. 

Amendments also allow the ministry to disclose records of a deceased individual to a personal representative, a parent, an adult child, an adult sibling, or spouse of a deceased individual. Saskatchewan is the first jurisdiction in Canada to have legislation that allows for the release of deceased persons' records without consent. The need for increased flexibility in information disclosure was strongly endorsed and encouraged by external stakeholders in the review of The Child and Family Services Act. 

Other notable changes include provisions for eligible youth to receive ongoing services past their 18th birthday to promote the successful completion of their current school year and clarify to whom and under what circumstances personal information can be shared to ensure a child's, or former child in care's, right to know their identity. Amendments to the Act also establish a process for individuals to seek a review of a decision regarding their access to information request. 

Multiple stakeholders were engaged and provided feedback on the proposed amendments, including Indigenous authorities, community-based organizations, the Advocate for Children and Youth and youth with lived experience. 


For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Social Services
Phone: 306-787-3610

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