Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth: Focus on Advocacy

Blog provided by Michelle Kowalchuk, Program Manager Advocacy and Youth Engagement.

The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth(MACY) is an independent office of the Manitoba Legislature and is governed by The Advocate for Children and Youth Act(ACYA) in Manitoba.  In March 2018, with the proclamation of the new legislation, our advocacy services expanded to include a number of public service systems (listed below).

The ACYA states it is the responsibility of the Manitoba Advocate to: support, assist, inform, and advise children, young adults, and their families respecting designated services.

There are several programs within the office: Advocacy, Investigations and Child Death Reviews, Research into systemic issues, Youth Engagement, Public Education and Quality Assurance. 

The Advocacy program is a direct service program staffed by Registered Social Workers.  Anyone can call or drop in to make a referral to advocacy; children or youth themselves, service providers, family or community members. When someone calls, they will speak to an Advocacy Officer who can listen to their concerns and provide information and assistance. This might include information about service navigation, support in self-advocacy or advocacy with respect to a service or system.  There is no wait-list for services and even if you’re not sure if we can help, contact us with your questions.


  • With/for individual children, youth, and young adults on individual case-specific matters;
  • With/for groups of children, youth, and young adults on systemic matters common to multiple young people; and
  • On behalf of all children, youth, and young adults when we note an ongoing issue related to a public service system, specific service provider, or area of the province.

Designated services in our mandate:


All services from birth to 17 years, plus young adults 18-21 years who were former permanent wards


All services from birth to 17 years


All services from birth to 17 years provided by or funded by the government within health, education, justice and community services, plus services to 18-21 years if CFS had been involved prior to individual turning 18 years.


All educational programming for children to age 17 with an IEP, plus 18-21 years if eligible for an IEP and the young adult had received child welfare services as a child


All services from birth to 17 years provided by or on behalf of a public body


All services from birth to 17 years provided by or on behalf of a public body


All services provided to children birth to 17 years or their families as victims of crime, witnesses in criminal proceedings, those impacted by domestic violence, those who are sexually exploited or at risk of sexual exploitation


All services for youth to 17 years including custody, community supervision and probation

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