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Youth justice - Helping your child

Emotional: Your support will be critical if your child is faced with going through the criminal justice system and maneuvering through the Youth Criminal Justice Act YCJA. It can be a scary and confusing time, even for adults.

Understanding the process, obtaining information and advice and finding the proper resources are all ways that you can help. Even if you have no experience in the legal system, your capacity to seek out the necessary information and help are likely better than that of your daughter or son.

Parental presence in court may indicate to a judge that a prents wants to take responsibility in providing a caring and supportive environment to their child. For example, it might mean the difference between being detained or being allowed to stay at home prior to sentencing.


Sections 26 and 27 of the YCJA may assist to define the role of parents. Parents of the young person will be notified orally or in writing of:

  • Any arrest stating the place of detention and reason for the arrest
  • In writing, any summons, appearance notice, promise to appear, undertaking or recognizance, and
  • In writing, ticket under the Contravention Act if the whereabouts of the young person are not known or if it appears that no parent is available. Notice will be given to an adult relative or any other appropriate adult know to the young person, who is likely to assist

Failure to give a notice does not affect the validity of proceedings, for a detained youth. However, failure to give parental notice of a summons may render invalid any subsequent proceedings relating to the case.

If the young person has attained the age of 20 years of age at the time of his or her first appearance, parents are not notified.

The Youth Justice Court may in writing, order the parent to attend at any stage of the proceedings. A parent who fails to attend without reasonable excuse will be guilty of contempt of court, and is liable to punishment provided for in the Criminal Code of Canada for a summary conviction offence. A warrant may be issued to compel the attendance of a parent.

Contact info

Youth justice

Phone: 867-667-3610

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-800-661-0408 ext. 3610

Fax: 867-667-3620

Mailing Address:

Youth justice (H-9A)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Location: 305 Lambert Street | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]


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