2022 Edition

Youth Custody Services (CA-YCS) 7: Health Services

Youth receive health services and guidance that promote good health and well-being.




Youth Custody Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviours, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures governing the provision of health services
  • Menus for the previous six months
  • Health education curricula and/or materials
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served and their families
  • Verify employment of qualified medical practitioner either directly or via contract
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 7.01

A qualified medical practitioner conducts:
  1. a health examination within seven days of admission; and
  2. a dental screening within seven days of admission, and a dental examination within 60 days of admission.


If the organization obtains a health record showing that the youth recently received a dental examination, it may not be necessary to conduct another examination within 60 days of admission. In those cases, the organization should ensure that the examination is conducted within six months of the date the last exam was completed (e.g., if the youth had an exam two months before admission, the next exam should occur within four months after admission). Dental screenings should still occur according to the timeframes referenced in the standard.
Note: Regarding element (b), the organization will receive a rating of 2 if it: (1) conducts screenings to identify any urgent dental needs, and ensures the follow-up services needed to address these needs are provided, (2) ensures youth have access to services if dental issues arise after the screening, and (3) ensures that all youth receive a dental examination within six months of admission, with appropriate follow-up thereafter.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 7.02

Youth receive services needed to address any health-related issues identified during the assessment and have access to ongoing health care, including sick call, by a qualified medical practitioner.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 7.03

In case of emergency, a physician or other qualified medical practitioner assumes 24-hour on-call medical responsibility.


It is permissible to use a local medical facility for emergency services, provided the organization has a written agreement with the facility.


CA-YCS 7.04

Health records include a written summary of the youth’s known medical history, including immunizations, operations, illnesses, prior reactions to medications, and allergies, and copies are provided to youth or their legal guardians upon request.


CA-YCS 7.05

To promote physical health and development of healthful habits, youth are provided with nutritious meals and snacks, and engaged in adequate exercise.


CA-YCS 7.06

To promote their ability to maintain positive health practices, youth receive appropriate support and education regarding:
  1. proper nutrition and exercise;
  2. personal hygiene;
  3. substance use and smoking;
  4. sexual development;
  5. safe and healthy relationships;
  6. prevention and treatment of diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases;
  7. HIV/AIDS prevention; and
  8. pregnancy prevention and responsible parenting.
NA The organization provides only remand services.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 7.07

Pregnant youth are provided or linked with specialized services that include, as appropriate:
  1. pregnancy counselling;
  2. prenatal health care;
  3. genetic risk identification and counselling services;
  4. fetal alcohol spectrum disorder screening;
  5. labour and delivery services;
  6. postpartum care;
  7. pediatric care, including well-baby visits and immunizations; and
  8. health insurance programs for their children.
NA The organization does not serve pregnant youth.


CA-YCS 7.08

Pregnant youth are educated about the following prenatal health topics:
  1. fetal growth and development;
  2. the importance of prenatal care;
  3. nutrition and proper weight gain;
  4. appropriate exercise;
  5. medication use during pregnancy;
  6. effects of tobacco and substance use on fetal development;
  7. what to expect during labour and delivery; and
  8. benefits of breastfeeding.


These topics may be addressed by qualified medical personnel in the context of the prenatal health care referenced in CA-YCS 7.07.
NA The organization does not serve pregnant youth.

NA The organization provides only remand services.