History, Mission & Values

Mission Statement

The Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto, on behalf of the Catholic community is committed to providing social services that protect children and strengthen family life.

We value...

Our History

For more than 100 years, CCAS has protected children and strengthened families through services that are professional, responsive, child-centred and family-focused.

Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, we are mandated to provide child protection services 7 days a week, 24 hours a day under the legal framework of the Child and Family Services Act of Ontario. We work with community partners throughout Toronto to support children and families.

Milestones and Accomplishments

1894                       The Society (known at the time as the St. Vincent de Paul Children's Aid Society) opens its doors with one paid employee called an agent in response to the growing numbers of Catholic orphans and neglected children in Toronto.

1910                       CCAS establishes a shelter for Catholic children, providing care to more than 7,000 children.

1912                       The Society hires its first female worker, Josephine Nealis, who later becomes the agency's Executive Director.

1917                       The Society launches the first foster recruitment campaign for Catholic foster homes in Toronto.

1932                       Katherine Kernahan is hired as the Society’s first social worker at a salary of $75 per month.

1936                       The Society reincorporates and changes its name to the Catholic Children's Aid Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

1945                       Total staff has grown to 24. The Protection Department consists of one supervisor and four social workers, responsible for supervising 816 families and 1,700 children.

1950's – 1960's        An influx of migrants to Toronto increases CCAS's work with children and families, along with the need to employ multi-lingual Child Protection Workers.

1965                       Introduction of new child welfare legislation changes the reporting relationship and financing of the Society.

1975                       A project team of social workers and information technology staff establishes a case management system.



2013                       The Society develops and implements a three-year Sustainability Plan to enhance services to children and families, improve organizational efficiency and reduce expenditures.

2015                       CCAS has approximately 580 employees; more than half are Child Protection Workers.  In addition to English, 30 per cent of the staff also speak one of the following languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, and Polish.