Nova Scotia

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


Nova Scotia - Statistics

Nova Scotia: Children and youth in out-of-home care in 2019^

Children in care Child (0-18) population Rate per 1000
995 176,458 5.64

^Government of Nova Scotia. (2019). Department of Community Services, Accountability Report.

*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.

Title Authors Year
Accountability Report 201-20: Department of Community Services

Department of Community Services Nova Scotia

2017 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia

Frank, Lesley
Saulnier Christine

Provincial/Territorial Protocol On Children, Youth and Families Moving Between Provinces and Territories

Government of British Columbia
Government of Alberta
Government of Manitoba
Government of Saskatchewan
Government of New Brunswick
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Government of Nova Scotia
Government of Prince Edward Island
Government of Northwest Territories
Government of Nunavut
Government of Yukon
Government of Ontario

Our Kids Are Worth It: Our Fifth Year-- Strategy for Children and Youth

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services

Case Processing Times in Nova Scotia Youth Court

Policy, Planning and Research Nova Scotia Department of Justice

Child & Youth Strategy 2nd Annual Provincial Symposium: Summary Report

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services

Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Report 2008–2010 & Child Well-Being Report 2009

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services

Our Kids Are Worth It: Our Fourth Year-- Strategy for Children and Youth

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services

The Nova Scotia Child Poverty Report Card 2010

Frank, Leslie

Report of the Domestic Violence Prevention Committee

Domestic Violence Prevention Committee (DVPC)

Minister's Advisory Committee on Children and Family Services Act and Adoption Information Act

Nova Scotia Advisory Committee on Children and Family Services Act

Improving Services for Children and Families: Report of the Child Welfare Steering Committee

Nova Scotia Community Services

Researcher Organization Province / Territory
Brown, Marion Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
Covell, Katherine Cape Breton University Nova Scotia
Hughes, Jean Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
Karabanow, Jeff Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
MacDonald, Nancy Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
Symons, Doug Acadia University Nova Scotia
Ungar, Michael Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
Wien, Fred Dalhousie University Nova Scotia