Safe Children Bright Futures

 

Reporting Child Abuse

The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) recognizes that each of us has a responsibility for the welfare of children.

It states clearly that members of the public, including professionals who work with children, have an obligation to report promptly to a Children's Aid Society if they suspect that a child is or might be in need of protection.

The CFSA defines the term "child in need of protection" and sets out what must be reported to a CAS.

If you are concerned about the welfare or safety of a child, contact CAS at 519 455 9000.

Public Responsibility To Report To CAS

If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or might be in need of protection, you must promptly report the suspicion to CAS, providing as much detail as possible.

If you have made a previous report about a child and have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or might be in need of protection again, you must make a further report to CAS.

You must make the report directly to CAS and must not rely on anyone else to report on his or her behalf.

Professionals And Officials Duty To Report To A CAS

Professionals and officials have the same duty as the public to report to CAS. The Child and Family Services Act recognizes that persons working closely with children have a special awareness of the signs of child abuse and neglect, and a particular responsibility to report their suspicions and makes it an offence to fail to report.

Any professional or official who fails to report a suspicion that a child is or might be in need of protection, where the information on which that suspicion is based was obtained in the course of his or her professional or official duties, is liable on conviction to a fine of up to $1,000.

Protection From Liability

If a civil action is brought against a person who made a report, that person will be protected unless he or she acted maliciously or without reasonable grounds for his or her suspicion.

What Should You Do If A Child Tells You About Abuse?
  • Stay calm
  • Listen to the child
  • Let the child know that you believe him or her
  • Reassure the child
  • Tell the child you are sorry it happened
  • Let the child know it is not his or her fault
  • Do not promise to keep it a secret
  • Do not say “everything will be fine now”, it may take a long time before it is