Can the Québec Ombudsman have a decision by the Directeur de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ) overturned?


As a rule, the Québec Ombudsman handles complaints concerning the Directeur de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ) at the second level.

First you have to take your complaint to the service quality and complaints commissioner. The complaint assistance and support centre (CAAP) in your region can help you.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome (decision by the commissioner’s office, grounds, attitude, processing time), you can then contact us.

Please note: The Québec Ombudsman cannot challenge a DPJ decision or have a social worker’s or another professional’s assessment report changed (e.g. a decision about the assessment of a report or any measure to help a young person and their family).

However, it can look into whether the administrative rules specific to DPJ operations were applied correctly for the case submitted to it. For example, did the caseworker check the facts thoroughly and gather all the information on the child’s situation? There is a procedure for this. Was it followed? Did the DPJ comply with court orders about child access or other issues? When relevant, the Québec Ombudsman recommends that the DPJ make the required changes.

If the DPJ and the parents of a child disagree (about the child being removed from the family environment, for example), the Chambre de la jeunesse can hear the case and its decision is then applied by the DPJ.

Here again, the Québec Ombudsman cannot act to have the decision overturned, but it can act concerning the DPJ’s compliance with rules and practices.