Mandate

With the passage of Government Motion 87 on June 15, 2021, the Legislative Assembly appointed the Select Special Child and Youth Advocate Search Committee for the purpose of inviting applications for the position of Child and Youth Advocate and to recommend to the Assembly the applicant it considers most suitable to this position.

 

Recruiting for Child and Youth Advocate of Alberta 

The Child and Youth Advocate is an officer of the Legislature who represents the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and youth receiving government services. In this role you administer legislation and work with service providers, stakeholders and community groups to identify and resolve issues as well as conduct investigations. You direct public education and outreach initiatives and lead a team of professionals based in Edmonton and Calgary.

Apply Before October 8

Apply Now

Position Profile

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is a child rights-based organization.  The Office was established in 1989 and on April 1, 2012, became an independent legislative office with the proclamation of the Child and Youth Advocate Act.  The Child and Youth Advocate is an independent officer reporting to the Alberta Legislature whose role is to represent the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and youth, administer the Child and Youth Advocate Act, as well as set the direction for the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.

The Child and Youth Advocate advocates for children and youth receiving government services (child intervention and youth justice services) and investigates the serious injury or death of children.

To fulfill the Child and Youth Advocate’s mandate, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate works to advance the rights, interests and viewpoints of young people who are receiving a designated service.

The work of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is centered around Direct Advocacy Services (Intake Services, Individual Advocacy Services, Systemic Advocacy, Engagement and Education), Investigations and Legal Representation for Children and Youth and Strategic Support Services.

As an influential and highly credible leader with a commitment to quality care and services, the Child and Youth Advocate works with service providers, diverse stakeholders and community groups to identify and resolve issues. Serving in this senior advisory capacity, the Child and Youth Advocate champions advocacy perspectives and information that support positive outcomes for young people receiving services. As an Independent Officer, the Child and Youth Advocate also represents the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate publicly in the role of spokesperson.

Drawing on executive level leadership and management experience the Child and Youth Advocate provides strategic direction and support to the team of professionals in the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate based in Edmonton and Calgary. All geographical regions of the province are served from these two locations.

The Child and Youth Advocate is a nonpartisan independent officer of the Legislature appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly.

The Child and Youth Advocate reports to the Legislative Assembly through the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices with respect to annual reports of the office, proposed budgets and matters relating to the jurisdiction or authority of the Child and Youth Advocate under the Child and Youth Advocate Act.

The Standing Committee on Legislative Offices is responsible for reviewing the budget and operations of the Offices of the Ethics Commissioner, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner, Auditor General, Child and Youth Advocate and Chief Electoral Officer. The Child and Youth Advocate meets with the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices during the year as necessary.

The Child and Youth Advocate is involved with the administration of legislation related to the business of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and other related legislation and designated authorities:

  • An Act for Strong Families Building Stronger Communities
  • Child and Youth Advocate Act
  • Child Protection and Accountability Act
  • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
  • Children First Act
  • Drug-endangered Children Act
  • Family and Community Support Services Act
  • Family Law Act
  • Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act
  • Fatality Inquiries Act
  • Financial Administration Act
  • Fiscal Management Act
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP)
  • Government Organization Act
  • Health Information Act
  • Protection Against Family Violence Act
  • Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act
  • Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Amendment Act
  • Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act
  • Public Inquiries Act
  • Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act
  • Public Service Act
  • Vital Statistics Act
  • Other applicable legislation

Direct Advocacy Services

  • Providing expert advice and recommendations that will assist in producing positive outcomes for children and youth.
  • Developing and maintaining effective, open and consultative relationships with diverse stakeholder groups and community liaisons.
  • Collaborating with representatives from provincial and federal governments as well as other jurisdictions, national and international child welfare organizations, community agencies and the corporate sector to provide input and perspectives on issues and initiatives.
  • Engaging diverse audiences to raise awareness about children’s rights and the issues facing young people while fostering relationships with those who interact with young people.
  • Conducting systemic advocacy, public education and outreach in all areas that affect the well-being and rights of Alberta children and youth.
  • Resolving identified problems through the use of negotiation, conciliation, mediation or other non-adversarial approaches.

Investigations

  • Reviewing the experiences and circumstances of young people who have died or have been seriously injured and who have involvement with the youth justice system and/or the child intervention system based on the criteria outlined in the Child and Youth Advocate Act.
  • The comprehensive review process involves engagement with those close to the young person, their community and service providers.
  • After completing any investigation, producing a report containing observations, findings, recommendations and addressing any other matters the Child and Youth Advocate considers appropriate.
  • Identify policy, practice, legislative or other issues that create barriers to the services and supports needed by young people who interact with the child intervention or youth justice systems.

Legal Representation for Children and Youth

  • Providing independent legal representation for young people who have matters before the court under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act or the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act by managing services through a contracted team of private practice lawyers.
  • Provides professional development expectations and ongoing training for contracted lawyers to ensure legal services are tailored to meet the unique needs of young people.

Strategic Support Services

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate consists of employees appointed pursuant to the Public Service Act. The Child and Youth Advocate has a leadership role in overseeing the effective and efficient performance of the Office in executing its mandate.

  • Developing a strong team of professionals to foster a positive and respectful working environment.
  • Leading, coaching and mentoring a senior management team to achieve business plan goals.
  • Preserving the objectivity of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and maintaining public trust.
  • Providing strategic direction to the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.
  • Guiding policy and procedure development for prudent operation of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate including governance, risk management, services to clients and communication practices.
  • Overseeing the fiscal and human resources to ensure the effective use of resources in meeting business plan objectives.
Preparation of budget

The Child and Youth Advocate is responsible for preparing a budget for the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate for each upcoming fiscal year for presentation to the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices. Upon review by the Standing Committee the estimate is transmitted to the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.

Preparation of Reports

The Child and Youth Advocate must prepare a report annually on the work of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, and this report is laid before the Legislative Assembly.

The Child and Youth Advocate has an office in both northern and southern Alberta and is responsible for the management and staff of 75.5 full-time equivalent positions and an operating budget of $14,922,000.

The Child and Youth Advocate develops and maintains a wide array of contacts within and external to government. Internally, the Child and Youth Advocate has direct contact with cabinet ministers, Members of the Legislative Assembly and senior officials in government departments. Contact is also maintained with the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices and other Legislative Offices.

Externally, the Child and Youth Advocate meets with representatives of child and family service providers, Indigenous leaders and community members, stakeholder groups, community agencies, other government jurisdictions, non-government organizations and the general public.

The Child and Youth Advocate also maintains an active role in professional organizations related to social services such as the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA).

The Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints the Child and Youth Advocate on the recommendation of the Assembly for a term not exceeding five (5) years with the possibility of reappointment. A select special committee reports on the search for the Child and Youth Advocate to the Legislative Assembly and recommends the appointment of the Child and Youth Advocate.

The position of Child and Youth Advocate is classified within salary range D of the Senior Officials Salary Schedule for the public service of Alberta. This appointment offers a salary range of $208,778 to $280,662 per annum, dependent on qualifications, as well as a comprehensive benefits package.

The demands of this position require attributes that go beyond a specific discipline or academic achievement. In addition to the knowledge, experience and skill requirements of the role, applicants will have the proven ability to apply a balanced, common-sense approach while using sound judgment and demonstrating fairness, patience, and integrity. Credibility in a related career, respect within the community, public service orientation and an understanding of the political context of this role are key. As this position reports to the Legislative Assembly as a whole, the individual must be nonpartisan and able to work independently.

Knowledge/Experience Requirements

  • Significant executive management and leadership experience, preferably in a human services organization
  • Solid understanding of current and emerging issues affecting young people within the Canadian and Alberta contexts
  • Strategic orientation with the ability to position the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate to deal with emerging and long-term trends, issues and opportunities
  • Knowledge of the mandate and the roles and responsibilities of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
  • Experience in decision-making at a senior level related to sensitive and complex issues
  • Extensive knowledge of child and youth intervention and advocacy concepts
  • Superior level of knowledge and familiarity of cultural perspectives pertaining to Indigenous people and the rights of children and youth
  • Comprehensive understanding and awareness of the Calls to Action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, specifically the Child Welfare calls to action 1-5
  • Proven expertise in the interpretation and application of legislation, regulations and policies
  • Visionary leadership to mobilize the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate to work toward strategic priorities and a shared vision
  • Experience in decision-making at a senior level related to sensitive and complex issues
  • Demonstrated success in guiding, managing and developing a professional workforce
  • Extensive and varied experience working with people from different sectors and diverse backgrounds
  • Experience resolving conflicts, ideally through facilitation, conciliation and dispute resolution processes
  • Executive level application of business management practices overseeing significant fiscal and human resource operations
  • Working knowledge of the parliamentary system, government functions and processes and the public sector

Skills and Abilities

  • Proven ability as a leader who models values to support a positive and inclusive work environment that enables employees to achieve results and to develop and build organizational capacity for the future
  • Exceptional verbal, listening, written and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to effectively communicate with clients, stakeholders in the community and other jurisdictions
  • Sound consultative and advisory approach to managing relationships and problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain collaborative working relationships within the organization and with diverse stakeholder groups including Indigenous communities and other jurisdictions
  • Strong critical and strategic thinking skills
  • Ability to lead, influence and negotiate innovative solutions to complex and diverse issues with a wide variety of stakeholders and balance the needs and interests of these diverse groups
  • Demonstrated ability to act with impartiality and perform duties in the absence of political bias

Education

  • A degree in a related discipline (law, child and youth studies, human or social sciences, social work, et cetera.)
 

Upcoming Meeting Dates

Date/Time Location/Meeting Details
October 2021
Oct 25, 2021
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Rocky Mountain Room, 2nd Floor Federal Building
Video
09/26/2021 12:07

Select Special Committees

The Assembly strikes select special committees for specific purposes. A government motion is moved outlining the membership of the special committee, its terms of reference and other details. When a select special committee releases its report, its work is complete and the committee is disbanded unless otherwise directed by the Assembly. 

Committee Clerk
3rd Floor, 9820 – 107 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1E7
Call: 780.644.8621 Fax: 780.427.5688
CYASearchCommittee.Admin@assembly.ab.ca

Committee Members (9)

Joseph Schow

Mr. Joseph Schow (Chair)

Matt Jones

Mr. Matt Jones (Deputy Chair)

Tanya Fir

Honourable Tanya Fir

Nicole Goehring

Ms. Nicole Goehring

Jackie Lovely

Ms. Jackie Lovely

Jeremy Nixon

Mr. Jeremy Nixon

Rakhi Pancholi

Ms. Rakhi Pancholi

Irfan Sabir

Mr. Irfan Sabir

Mark Smith

Mr. Mark Smith

Committees of the Assembly

Watch the Assembly

Live and archived streams of Assembly and committee proceedings.

Watch the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and its committees in action, live or at your convenience.