Child Protective Services - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Child Protective Services

Parents are responsible to care for their children, but sometimes they are not willing or able to provide a safe and secure home for their child, or protect them from abuse or neglect.

Child Protective Services are needed when a family will not voluntarily enter into an Enhancement Agreement, when an increased level of supervision in the home is necessary to keep the children safe, or when a child or youth needs to be placed outside of the home to ensure their safety and well-being.

In some cases, the child remains at home with their family while child intervention workers support the family to work on the issues that were affecting their children’s safety and well-being. The court may require the parents to take part in counselling and addictions treatment or attend parenting classes, and a caseworker will meet regularly with the family to check on their progress.

Services may also be provided to youth, 16 years of age or older, who cannot live at home and their safety, well-being and development continue to be at risk. For these youth, it is often not in their best interests to return to their home because there are concerns that the parent cannot or will not protect them. Services may include a placement, health care, financial supports and assisting the youth to build their skills in areas such as money and time management; accessing health, education and employment support; and handling their day-to-day household responsibilities.

When a family cannot make things better while the children are in the home, they may need to come into provincial government care and be placed in family-based care such as foster care and kinship care or group care on temporary basis or permanently. A child may also come into care if their parent is deceased and there is no one to care for them, or if the parents cannot be located. Taking a child into care is always a last resort and must be supported by the courts.

The goal for children in temporary care and their families is to work on the problems within the family and stabilize the child in order to return the child or youth to their family. The maximum time for temporary care is 15-18 months, depending on the age of child.

  • 2015/16, there were 1,157 Family Reunifications.

Children come into permanent provincial government care when it is not in their best interest to return to his or her family. The goal for these children is to find them safe and nurturing homes through adoption and private guardianship or help them transition to adulthood. During their time in care, children are provided with very similar services, supports, supervision and guidance that are typical for children in Alberta.

Modified: 2018-03-09
PID: 17182