Parent Responsibility Act

Under the Parental Responsibility Act, parents are held financially responsible for property loss, damage or destruction intentionally caused by their children who are under 18 years of age.

How do judges determine whether the parents exercised reasonable supervision and attempted to prevent the incident?

Judges make decisions case-by-case, based on the case’s merits. Under the Parental Responsibility Act, judges may consider the following factors:

• the youth’s age,

• the youth’s prior conduct,

• the potential danger of the activity,

• the youth’s mental or physical capacity,

• any psychological disorders affecting the youth,

• whether the youth was under direct supervision of the parent at the time when the damage or loss was caused,

• whether a parent had made reasonable arrangements for supervision,

• whether a parent had sought to improve his/her parenting skills,

• whether a parent had sought professional assistance for the youth, and

• any other factor that the judge believes is relevant to the case.

If you feel your child needs intervention or you have a question or would like to speak to someone in our Youth Section, please contact us at 613-236-1222 ext 5355 or phone any of these help lines:

  • Child, Youth & Family Crisis Line for Eastern Ontario 613-260-2360 (24/7 crisis line)
  • Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region 613-238-3311 (24/7 crisis line for ages 16+) 
  • Youth Services Bureau 613-260-2360 (24/7 Crisis Line)

This webpage provides a sample of information about the Parental Responsibility Act and is not a complete summary nor is it intended as legal advice. More information can be found from the Ministry of the Attorney General and copies of the Parental Responsibility Act can be found online at