Protection for Persons in Care Act summary

The Protection for Persons in Care Act (PPCA) requires all publicly funded service providers to protect clients from abuse and prevent abuse from occurring, and requires all abuse be reported to Protection for Persons in Care, the police or another regulatory body.

Updated in 2010, the Protection for Persons in Care Act:

  • Expands the definition of service providers to include mental health facilities.
  • Includes a new definition of abuse that focuses on serious harm.
  • Specifies what does not constitute abuse.
  • Places more duties on persons who provide care or support services to protect clients from abuse. 
  • Establishes roles of the complaints officer and the director. 
  • Identifies additional bodies which have the authority to investigate reports of abuse. 
  • Establishes an appeal process. 
  • Includes more offences with higher penalties. 
  • Requires that all abuse reports be reviewed and, whenever necessary, they are investigated.

Key elements of the Protection for Persons in Care Act

1. Reporting abuse

Every individual who believes that there is or has been abuse involving a client* shall report that abuse as soon as possible to:

  • Protection for Persons in Care. Call 1-888-357-9339. 
  • A police service, if the abuse is criminal in nature. 
  • A professional regulatory college or body, if the abuse involves a health professional or a member of a health discipline. 
  • The office of the Mental Health Patient Advocate, if the abuse involves a client who is or was detained under one or two admission certificates under the Mental Health Act, or is or was subject to a Community Treatment Order at the time the alleged abuse occurred.

*NOTE: A client is an adult who receives care or support services from a publicly funded service provider.

2. Review of abuse reports

All reports of abuse are reviewed by a complaints officer to ensure they are thorough reports. The complaints officer may also take other action, such as gathering additional information or making inquiries of others involved in the abuse report. It is only after these steps that the complaints officer will determine if an investigation is necessary.

If the complaints officer decides an investigation is not necessary, the complainant may request that the director review that decision.

3. Investigation

If an investigation is necessary, an investigator will conduct interviews, make an on-site visit, and review records and any other evidence relevant to the alleged abuse being investigated. The investigator will then provide the director with a final report and may make recommendations, with reasons.

4. Director’s decision

The director reviews the investigator’s report, indicates whether the allegation is founded or unfounded, approves or rejects the recommendations, and outlines the specific action the service providers or the individual involved are to take to prevent abuse from occurring again.

The complainant, the service provider, the client and the individual involved may appeal the director’s decision to an appeal panel.

Offences under the Protection for Persons in Care Act

There are several offences under the PPCA. These include:

  • Failure to report abuse. 
  • Failure of a service provider to comply with their duties. 
  • Failure of a service provider or individual involved to comply with the director’s decision. 
  • Service provider taking adverse action against a person who reports abuse or assists in an investigation or inquiry.