Can you get your child the care they need without the other parent’s consent?

Can you get your child the care they need without the other parent’s consent?

According to a Statistics Canada study, family violence in Quebec rose 29% between 2014 and 2022. Family violence can have physical, emotional, and behavioural impacts on children, even if they don’t experience it firsthand. If you’re living with family violence, your child can receive health and social services without the other parent’s consent.   

In 2022, the Quebec government adopted a bill to reform family law, in particular the health and social services available to child victims of family violence. The rules discussed below came into effect on May 17, 2023. 

Types of services available 

You can obtain health and social services for a child under 14 by requesting an attestation that confirms the child needs this care due to family violence, which includes any domestic or sexual violence committed by one of the child’s parents. 

You can request this attestation only if the other parent refused their consent or if it isn’t safe for you to ask for their consent. 

Many health and social services are recognized by the Minister of Justice and can be requested in a family violence context. They include 

  • assessment, 
  • diagnosis and treatment, 
  • follow-up, and 
  • psychosocial support. 

You can visit the Quebec government’s website for a full list of health issues these services can address. 

Children 14 or older can consent to health care independently and don’t need either parent’s approval whether or not the parent is a perpetrator of family violence.  Health and social services institutions won’t notify parents that the child is receiving care unless the stay in a health care establishment exceeds 12 hours. 


In an emergency, medical consent isn’t needed if it can’t be obtained quickly or if a person’s life or physical integrity is in danger. 

This means you don’t have to follow the procedure outlined below if your child needs urgent health care (for example, after a serious injury like a burn, fracture or head trauma). Just go straight to the nearest ER. 

Getting the attestation 

You can request an attestation by completing this form available on the website of the Directeur des poursuites ciminelles et pénales (director of criminal and penal prosecutions or DPCP). Send the completed form to the DPCP along with supporting documents like a copy of your child’s birth certificate and your police report or a document in support of your request, as applicable. 

This document can be a letter from a doctor or a social worker who can attest to the family violence your child experienced. 

You must then sign the request in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths

You can ask for a paper copy of the form at a 

  • courthouse, 
  • police station, 
  • DPCP service point, 
  • crime victims assistance centre (CAVAC), 
  • sexual assault prevention and aid centre (CALACS), 
  • shelter for women fleeing spousal violence, or 
  • health and social services institution (e.g., hospital, youth centre). 

A public servant will handle your request promptly. To make sure the attestation is in your child’s best interest, they may ask you for more information or speak to the person who issued your supporting document. 

Important: You can request an attestation even if you haven’t filed a police report. 

What’s next? 

The attestation is only valid for 45 days, so it’s important to act fast and request the necessary services or get your child on a waiting list as soon as possible. Be sure to also send the attestation to the relevant health and social services providers.  

Once the request has been sent or your child is on the waiting list, the services can start (or continue) even after the attestation has expired.