Nova Scotia

For more information, please see the information sheet on Nova Scotia's child welfare system.


In Nova Scotia, the provincial Department of Community Services (DCS) provides child welfare services under the mandate of the Children and Family Services Act (CFSA) (1990)Services are provided by 21 local child welfare offices located in each county across the province. Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services (MFCS) provides child welfare and protection services to all 13 First Nations Reservations (Government of Nova Scotia, 2013). The Children and Family Services Regulations (2018) further describe specific policies and procedures for child welfare service delivery in Nova Scotia. The regulations also include all relevant government forms and applications for child welfare services within the province. 


Nova Scotia: Children and youth in out-of-home care in 2022*

Children in careChild (0-18) populationRate per 1000
1, 180197, 3595.98

*Pollock, N., Ouédraogo, A., Trocmé, N., Hovdestad, W., Miskie, A., Crompton, L., Campeau, A., Tanaka, M., Zhang, C., Laprise, C., Tonmyr, L. (2024) Rates of out-of-home care among children in Canada: an analysis of national administrative child welfare data. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada (44)4.

**The rate per 1000 is calculated using the population of children covered under the age of protection in Nova Scotia (under 19 years old).

§ Child welfare services fall under the jurisdiction of provincial and territorial authorities, making it difficult to compile statistics at the national level. The most notable variations between provinces include mandate variation by jurisdiction with respect to the age to which children are eligible for services, differences in the length of time a child can receive out-of-home care and the definition of out-of-home care.