Federal Law and Social Policy

Published May 1, 2001

There is no single source of law in Canada that governs screening. Criminal, civil, constitutional and administrative statutes are all relevant to those organizations and individuals who carry out screening. As well, the common law has clearly established that organizations providing programs and services to people in the community have a legal duty to ensure the safety and well-being of those persons whom they serve. This duty to provide a safe environment is critical to screening, and is largely what motivates the efforts of community agencies and organizations to screen volunteers and employees who seek to occupy positions of trust with respect to children, youth and other vulnerable persons. This resource is a "snapshot" that provides a basic overview of federal legislation relevant to screening, and also describes principles of common law that are important considerations for the screening process.

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