Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs below can help you answer questions you may have about our office. 

What does your office do?

Our office helps young people with their rights and makes sure the Government of Nunavut supports and protects these rights. 

One way we do this is by working one-on-one with you. We can:

  • give you information on your rights
  • answer questions about government programs and services
  • help you and/or your family find services or programs you need
  • coach you in how to explain what you need to others  
  • make sure you can participate in decision making about you
  • sit in on a meeting between you and a health worker, social worker, community corrections officer, or other government worker 

How we help you really depends on what you need and what you tell us!

What are child rights?

Child rights are things you should have or be able to do so you can live life to your full potential. Children around the world are entitled to these things – regardless of their sex, nationality, religious beliefs or race. 

There are many child rights. For example, you have a right to: 

  • healthy food
  • a safe place to live
  • a life without violence
  • your culture
  • be cared for, as far as possible, by your parents
  • say what you think and have adults listen

What are some reasons I would contact the RCY office?

There are many reasons why you may want to contact our office: 

  • You are in government care and want help speaking with your social worker about family visits.
  • You want to raise a concern you have about your health care with a mental health counsellor, nurse etc.
  • You want extra support because the FANS process is not going the way you expect.
  • You aren’t sure which government department or program can help you. 

If you don’t know if we can help you, we suggest you contact us anyway. If we can’t help you, we will find you someone who can.

I am worried about my family, can you help?

You have a right to live with a healthy family that supports you and government has a role to play in supporting families. So there are some ways we can help you and your family. We can listen to your concerns. We can help you and your family access programs and services you need. We can sit in on a meeting with you, your family and a government worker if you ask us to. 

I’m just a child. Can I call your office?

Anyone can call us.  You can call us yourself or you can have an adult call us for you.    

Will anyone know I called you?

We respect your privacy. We won’t share information you give us without your permission. However, if it becomes clear to our staff that someone’s safety or well-being may be at risk, we are required to report this to someone who can help.

We may also need to contact a parent or guardian if you are under 12 years old and contact our office for help. But we never do this if we think it’s against your best interests.It’s also important to know that if we need to share something, we will work with you on how to do this.

What happens when I contact you?

The first person you speak with will be our intake specialist. He or she will ask you:

  • your name
  • your date of birth
  • your contact info
  • your concern

Next, you will most likely speak with one of our child and youth advocacy specialists. We call these staff advocates for short. The advocate will go over how our office can help, explain your right to confidentiality and confirm you want to work with us.

 He or she will then:

  • listen to you
  • ask questions to fully understand what's going on 
  • ask you what you want
  • discuss what we can do to help 

After this, you may choose to work one-on-one with an advocate.  You will lead this work with your advocate. Together, you will come up with an advocacy plan.

I’d like to contact your office but I am in government care and find it hard to find a private space. What should I do?

You have a right to contact our office in private. This means the person in charge of where you are living must find you a private space for you to call or email us. Also, if you choose to write us a letter, the person in charge must send this letter to our office unopened.

Is there anything your office can’t help me with? 

There are a few things our office can’t help with. Under the law, we can’t:

  • act as your lawyer
  • get involved in custody arrangements
  • get involved in a private disagreement with a business or private organization

But if there’s something you want help with, contact us anyway. If we can’t support you, we will find you someone who can. 

Can you provide me with legal advice?

We are not lawyers so we can’t provide you with legal advice.  But we can help you in other ways, including helping you find a lawyer.

Can you still help me if I am not in Nunavut?

We suggest you contact us if you are a Nunavut resident but in government care or receiving services outside of the territory. Our office can only work directly on matters that happen in Nunavut. But we can work with the child and youth advocacy office in the province or territory you are now in. 

You can reach us toll-free at 1-855-449-8118, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm EST.