Can I make a referral to the CAS anonymously?
Yes. All calls to the Society are taken seriously regardless of whether you provide
your name or not. Providing your name, however, allows for the protection worker
investigating the matter to be able to clarify information with you at a later
We always try to honour your request of confidentiality. However,
there are occasions when information about a referral source must be shared as part
of court proceedings that result from the investigation.
It is also important to remember that you can call the Society and
consult with a child protection worker about a situation without identifying yourself
or who the family is that you are concerned about. You will only be asked for
identifying information about the family if the circumstances that you describe turn
out to be reportable.
When should I call the police rather than the CAS?
If a child is in immediate danger and emergency services are required please call
9-1-1. If you have knowledge of a criminal act committed against a child, contacting
the police is advisable.
Can I call the CAS for assistance with my own family?
Yes. We are here to help all families living in York Region.
At any time, you can call the Society to speak with a child protection
worker with regard to difficulties that you are experiencing with your children. An
intake and assessment screening team member will discuss your family's concerns and
needs, and will determine the appropriate response which would be most supportive to
Who is a "child in need of protection"?
A child in need of protection is a child who is under the age of 16 who has been
determined, by a child protection investigation, to have experienced abuse and/or
neglect or to be at risk of experiencing same.
Who is responsible for reporting suspected cases of child abuse?
We all have a responsibility to report concerns about the safety and well-being of a
The Child and Family Services Act states that any person who has
reasonable grounds to suspect abuse or neglect, including those who care or work with
children, are required to report who report the concern to a Children's Aid Society.
This duty is ongoing and cannot be delegated.
When are police involved in a child protection investigation?
If during the course of an investigation, the Society obtains information to suggest
that a criminal offence has occurred in relation to a child, the Society has a legal
obligation to contact the police. Similarly, if police receive information about a
criminal matter in which children have been involved or impacted in some manner they
will contact the Society.
In situations where there is a role for both police and the Society, a
joint investigation will be conducted. During this investigation, the Society's focus
is on the safety and well-being of the children while the police respond to the allegations
as they pertain to the Criminal Code and whether a criminal offence has occurred.
If I am dissatisfied with the service that I received from the
CAS what do I do?
Any client who has sought or received services from the Society may access the client
complaint procedure process as set out in section 68 of the Child and Family Services
Act. The procedure includes both an internal and external review. Each client is provided
with a copy of the Society's complaint procedure upon initial contact.
What happens after an investigation is completed?
In cases where a child is determined to be in need of protection and ongoing service to
the family is required, the Society will remain involved and work in collaboration with
the family to address the protection concerns.
In cases where a child is found not to be in need of protection, the
Society can still provide the family with referrals to appropriate community support
resources that can assist the family following the completion of the investigation.
What if a family does not speak English?
We recognize the vast cultural diversity in York Region and, where appropriate, can use
an interpretation service to assist child protection workers in their work with the family.
York CAS works collaboratively with a variety of ethno-specific community
based agencies that can provide supports that respect a family's cultural and religious
At what age can a child babysit or be left unattended by an adult?
Age alone is not the only factor when considering the proper supervision of children.
The Child and Family Services Act does not identify a specific age at which a child can
be left alone, or an age at which a child can supervise or babysit other children.
The Act says that a person who has charge of a child who is less than 16 years of age
cannot leave the children without making provision for his/her care or supervision that
is reasonable under the circumstances.
Is it illegal to spank your child?
We strongly discourage and do not condone corporal punishment. Other forms of discipline
are more effective in managing children's behaviour and less likely to cause harm.
Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada specifically provides that schoolteachers,
parents and persons standing in the place of a parent can use "force by way of correction"
to discipline a child provided that the force does not exceed "what is reasonable in the
York CAS responds to cases where physical punishment has been used in an inappropriate
or excessive manner that could lead to a child being injured or where such discipline
has resulted in an injury.