Request a child or youth’s release from emergency secure treatment


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The Child and Family Services Act, section 124, gives the Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) the mandate to hear applications requesting an order to release a child or youth from a secure treatment program.

Before you file

  • Are you a child or youth who was recently admitted to an emergency secure treatment program of up to 30 days?
  • Do you know a child or youth who was recently admitted to an emergency secure treatment program of up to 30 days?

If you answered “yes” to either of the above questions, you may apply to the CFSRB for a review of the placement.

All youth in emergency secure treatment get advice from an advocate from the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth and are assigned a lawyer from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.

Filing an application

To apply, download the Application for Review of Emergency Admission to Secure Treatment Placement or call us.

If you need help filling out the form, call the CFSRB and a case processing officer will help you. Note that a case processing officer cannot give you legal advice or tell you what words to use in your application.

For information about how to send your application, visit Forms & Filing.

The hearing

A panel of 1-3 adjudicators will hold a hearing within 5 days to review your request. All participants will have an opportunity to present oral and written evidence, ask witnesses questions, and make submissions. Board members may also have questions for the witnesses.

The facility will present its evidence first.

Hearings last one day and take place in private at the secure treatment facility.

Issuing an order

The CFSRB will issue an order as soon as the hearing is over. The CFSRB may decide that the child or youth will stay in the program or be released.

For the CFSRB to decide to keep a child or youth in the secure treatment program, the member must be convinced that:

  • The child has a mental disorder
  • The child, as a result of the mental disorder, caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause serious bodily harm to himself or herself or others
  • The secure treatment facility program would be effective to prevent the child from causing or attempting to cause harm to himself or herself or others
  • The treatment is appropriate for the child’s mental disorder and is available at the place of secure treatment
  • No less restrictive method of providing treatment is appropriate in the circumstances.

These criteria are set out in section 124 of the Child and Family Services Act.

The written decision

The CFSRB will issue written reasons for its decision within 10 days.

Service standards

Service excellence is a priority for the Child and Family Services Review Board. Our service standards keep us focused on providing our clients with fair, effective, and timely dispute resolution. These are the service standards for Emergency Secure Treatment Applications. We aim to meet these standards 80% of the time:

  • Hearings will be scheduled within four days of receipt of the application
  • Decisions or orders will be issued within 10 days after the hearing has been completed

Rules of procedure

The sections of the Rules of Procedure that apply to an application to release a child from a secure treatment program are Part I and Part VI.