Frequently Asked Questions
We know you may have questions about contacting us or when a child and family might require our services. Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about our agency.
Yes. You can call us 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. There are occasions when information about a referral source must be shared as part of court proceedings that result from an assessment.
Yes, we are here to help all families living in York Region. At any time, you can call us to speak with a child protection worker with regard to challenges you are having with your children. An Intake and Assessment Screening worker can talk with you about your concerns and needs, and help with the appropriate response that would be most supportive to your family.
Call 9-1-1 when a child is in immediate danger and emergency services are required. If you have knowledge of a criminal act committed against a child, contact the police.
A child in need of protection is a child who is under the age of 18 who has experienced, or is at risk of experiencing, abuse or neglect.
Section 125 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, specifies the ways in which a child who is under the age of 18 may be in need of protection due to the actions or inactions of the person having charge of that child.
A child may have been harmed, or may be at risk of harm, due to this person’s actions or inactions. Types of harm include:
- Physical Harm
- Emotional Harm
- Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence
- Sexual Abuse including Sex Trafficking
For more information, please see Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: It’s Your Duty.
Each person has a responsibility to report concerns about the safety and well-being of a child.
Section 125 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, says that any person who has reasonable grounds to suspect abuse or neglect of a child, including those who care or work with children, are required to report the concern to a Children’s Aid Society. This duty is ongoing and cannot be delegated to someone else.
If we have information that a criminal offence has occurred against a child, we have a legal obligation to contact the police. In the same way, if police receive information about a crime against a child, they will contact us. Sometimes our agency and police do joint assessments, during which we focus on the safety and well-being of children, and police respond to criminal allegations against children.
If an assessment reveals a child and family requires child protection services, Children’s Aid Society will work in collaboration with the family to address any issues that pose risk or cause harm to the child, as well as help the family to develop or strengthen their support network.
We recognize the vast cultural diversity in York Region and provide interpreters to assist families and our staff to work together. We work collaboratively with diverse, ethno-specific, community-based agencies who provide support that is respectful of families’ cultural and religious backgrounds.
If you have sought or received services from Children’s Aid Society, you can share feedback or make a complaint as set out in section 119 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
For more information, please see our Complaints, Compliments & Feedback page.
A copy of our complaint procedure is given to each person the first time we are in contact with them or their family.
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, 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 18 years of age cannot leave the children without making provision for their care or supervision that is reasonable under the circumstances.
We do not condone, and strongly discourage, physical/corporal punishment. We advocate for parenting techniques and other forms of discipline that do not cause harm to children, and are more effective in supporting children’s unique needs and behaviours, and build trust within the child-parent relationship.
We respond to situations where physical/corporal punishment is used against children.