Are you worried about the behaviour of a parent when his or her child arrives or leaves? If so, please read the following.
A parent's behaviour can sometimes lead to concerns for the child's security. For example, if a parent shows up and his or her faculties seem to be impaired by alcohol or another substance, the parent's behaviour toward the child is violent, the parent transports the child in a way that is not secure, etc.
What should you do?
In the circumstances, laws of general application, that are not within the ambit of the ministère de la Famille, may impose certain obligations on you.
Charter of human rights and freedoms provides that "[e]very person must come to the aid of anyone whose life is in peril, either personally or calling for aid, by giving him the necessary and immediate physical assistance, unless it involves danger to himself or a third person, or he has another valid reason".
Thus, when the life of a child is in peril, it is your duty to act.
Youth Protection Act (YPA), obliges you, as a person working in a childcare environment, to immediately report the situation to the director of youth protection if you have reasonable grounds to believe that the security or development of a child is or may be considered to be in danger.
The obligation to report to the director arises when the following elements are present: 1. reasonable grounds to believe that 2. the security or development of the child is in danger, particularly if the child's parents do not fulfill their obligations of care, maintenance and education toward the child.
The person who makes a report is not responsible for deciding whether or not the child's security or development can actually be considered in danger. That task is the responsibility of the director of youth protection.
Employees of a childcare establishment must remain vigilant and assume the responsibility conferred on them by the YPA.
Whatever the situation, the child's security and your own must be a priority.
If possible, talking calmly to the parent to remedy the situation, could be the path to take. Among other things, you could suggest that the parent stop and reflect on the situation, or call a taxi or a person who could temporarily take charge of the child. If such a solution is not possible, and you fear for the child's security, remember that you can contact 911 for immediate assistance.
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