Duty to Report
In Ontario, it is the law to report suspected child abuse and neglect to a Children’s Aid Society, or if someone is in immediate danger, to call the police.
Section 125 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) states that members of the public, including professionals who work with children, must promptly report any suspicions that a child is, or may be, in need of protection to a children’s aid society.
Children’s Aid Societies are responsible for investigating and assessing abuse and neglect.
- Learn about services for children and youth who need protection because of abuse or neglect, or risk of abuse or neglect.
- Learn more about your responsibility to report abuse and neglect.
If you suspect child neglect or abuse, please call us immediately at:
Frequently Asked Questions
Anyone who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection must promptly report the suspicion and the information upon which it is based to a Children’s Aid Society.
It is not necessary for you to be certain a child or youth is or may be in need of protection to make a report to a Children’s Aid Society. “Reasonable grounds” refers to information that an average person, using normal and honest judgement, would need in order to decide to report.
The duty to report applies to any child who is or appears to be, under the age of 16.
On January 1, 2018, Ontario raised the age of protection from 16 to 18 years of age. A professional, or member of the public who is concerned that a 16 or 17 year old is or may be in need of protection may, but is not required to, make a report to a Children’s Aid Society, who is required to assess the reported information.
Even if you know a report has already been made about a child who is under 16, you must make a further report to a Children’s Aid Society if there are additional reasonable grounds to suspect that the child is or may be in need of protection.
No, you have to report directly to a Children’s Aid Society. You must not rely on anyone else to report on your behalf.