Child Protection Services

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Tel: (709) 729-2668

To report child abuse in the St. John’s Metro Area call:
(709) 729-4612 or (709) 729-4775 (after hours)


The primary goal of Child Protection Services is to help ensure the safety and well-being of children. Social workers investigate allegations of maltreatment (physical, sexual, emotional) and provide necessary interventions, supports and services to families.

Target Population:

 Children and youth

Highlight of Programs / Services Offered:

Child Protection Services is guided by the legislative provisions of the Child and Youth Care Act. Service delivery is categorized within the following components:

  • Protective Intervention Program
    • When there is concern of child abuse by a parent, social workers assess the risk to the child. The assessment of risk involves some of the most critical decisions that are made in the protective intervention program. The social worker, together with the family, develops a plan to reduce the identified risk. All decisions to intervene with the family are made in the best interest of the child.
  • Voluntary Care Agreement
    • Voluntary care agreements are intended to be used in situations when a parent is unable to care for their child and need time to seek help or resolve any issues in the family home that could place the child’s safety, health or well-being at risk. If services cannot be provided to enable a parent to care for a child in his/her own home, a parent may be approved to enter into a Voluntary Care Agreement. A Voluntary Care Agreement does not transfer custody of the child to a Director of Child, Youth and Family Services and is made with the intention is that the child will be returned to the parent within a short period of time.
  • Kinship Services
    • This service involves parents voluntarily transferring the care of their child/children to a significant other or relative that are willing and able to provide the necessary resources and care. This would occur when an out-of-home placement is required for children that are in need of protection intervention. However, this service does not transfer custody to a manager of Child, Youth and Family Services. There are also services and funding available to help the relative or  significant other with caring for the child/children (Child Welfare Allowance).
  • Child Welfare Allowance
    • Supportive and financial services are available to relatives or significant others who are willing and capable of providing care to a child who is in need of protective intervention and, if relatives or significant others were not available, the child would have to be placed in care. A determination of the custodial parent’s ability to provide financial support and an assessment of the identified placement option is required.
  • Youth Services Program
    • The goal of this program is to assist at-risk young people, age 16 and 17, make a successful transition to adulthood. Social work intervention and services may be provided to youth and their families. Youth Services can be either residential or non-residential.
  • In Care Program
    • Parents may voluntarily transfer the care of a child to a Director of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) or the Court may make a legal finding that a child is in need of protective intervention and place a child in a director’s temporary or continuous custody. The placement of a child is determined using the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. Relatives, non-custodial parents and individuals significant to the child are considered first. If a family member or significant other is unavailable, the child is placed with an approved non-relative caregiver (foster) family or another approved residential setting. There is recognition of the importance of placing siblings together and keeping children connected to their family and other individuals who are significant in their lives.