Q:What can I do to help stop abuse or neglect?
A: If you think a child is being neglected or abused, it's your legal Duty to Report the situation to CCAS.
It is not up to you to prove that abuse or neglect has happened. Our Child Protection Workers are responsible for investigating the situation and determining if a child is in need of protection. To report abuse, please call our 24/7 hotline at 416-395-1500.
Q. What should I do if a child discloses abuse?
A: Please use the following guidelines:
Believe in the child
· lack of belief will discourage the abused from disclosing
Listen openly and calmly
· give the child your full attention
· put the child first and put your feelings (anger, frustration or pain) aside
Reassure the child
· be supportive
· tell the child what has happened is not his/her fault
· never make promises
Write down the facts
· record all the facts the child has disclosed to you
· avoid interpreting what the child has said, use the child’s exact words
· contact CCAS immediately
Q: Do I have to use my name when I call you?
A: It is possible for you to make an anonymous referral to a Children’s Aid Society. Any information you do provide, including your identity, will remain confidential whenever possible. It is helpful to provide us with your name when you make a report because in the event the matter goes to court, the information you provided will be given more weight.
Q: I called you a month ago to report that my neighbour may be abusing her child. Nothing’s happened. But I’m still concerned. What should I do?
A: Even if you have previously called about a child, if you become aware of a new incident involving that child, you should call us again. Your information could play a critical role in protecting the child.
Q: When does CCAS get involved?
A: CCAS receives information about families from community members, schools, police and other professionals. Our child protection workers asses the information to see if there are child safety concerns. If there are child safety concerns a child protection worker will contact the family. If there are no safety concerns, the family may be connected to a community agency for follow-up.
Q: What happens if CCAS determines that there are safety concerns?
A: When there are child safety concerns, the worker meets with the family to discuss the concerns and works together with you to develop a plan to assist your family. In 93% of situations, children are able to remain safety at home with their parents and receive ongoing support from CCAS. Your Child Protection Worker is part of a team that includes a supervisor, other professionals, and community service providers. Working together with CCAS can be hard work and stressful, and it may result in you making some difficult choices or changes in your life. It could also be one of the most important things you will ever do for your family.
In situations where the child cannot safely remain in their home, the Child Protection worker will work with the family to find a safe living arrangement, possibly in the care of relatives, friends or community members, or a foster home. While your child is staying in a safe home, your worker will continue to work with you to help you prepare for your child’s return home.
If CCAS removes a child from its home without parental consent, we must appear before the court within five days. Parents can attend that hearing and arrange for a lawyer to present information. CCAS must make the case that there is a risk that the child will likely undergo or, has suffered harm and cannot be adequately protected at home. The judge will listen to all the facts and has the final say.
A: Foster care is meant to be short-term. According to the law, children under six can live in temporary care for up to a maximum of 12 months. Children who are six years and older can live in temporary care for no more than 24 months. If children are not able to return to their families, they can become Crown Wards.
A: To make a complaint please refer to our website section on Resolving Complaints.
Watch an important reminder about the duty to report from the former Minister of Children and Youth Services, Tracy MacCharles.