Protect children and youth

Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies are mandated by the Ontario Government to protect children from harm. Children’s Aid is the only organization with the statutory responsibility to respond to all allegations of abuse and neglect – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Children’s Aid provides critical and essential services to the most vulnerable members of our society, including child protection, family support, public adoption, and referrals to other community services.

Vulnerable families can become overwhelmed. Struggles with poverty, poor mental health, substance abuse, social isolation, or a legacy of prior family violence can in some cases be linked to family crisis and abuse.

Wherever possible, children should grow up safely with their own family, but a family in crisis is not always the safest place. The traumatic impact of emotional, physical or sexual abuse and neglect is long-lasting and can affect children or youth negatively well into adult life.

Children’s Aid works with families early on, providing essential support that helps stop crises and family violence before they occur, allowing families to heal and strengthen. The work of Children’s Aid has the potential to save the lives of young people and allow them the chance at the future they deserve, free from violence and fear.

Our programs and services utilize every available resource to make sure children and their families are given all the right supports to be successful. Children’s Aid provides assessments, crisis intervention, positive parenting programs, individual and group counseling, peer support groups and referrals to other community services.

When a child can’t stay at home because of serious safety concerns, Children’s Aid does their best to find a safe living arrangement with a relative or family friend. When that isn’t possible, the child comes into the care of Children's Aid and we match the child's needs with a foster family, kin care home or customary care giver. If the child cannot be reunited with their family, adoption may be an option. Our primary focus is always the child, and our plan for every child is to have a permanent home.

We can’t do all of this alone. Children’s Aid relies on the community to support the welfare of children and families. Every Ontarian has a moral and legal role to play in protecting children and supporting vulnerable families in our communities by being alert to the signs of abuse and knowing who to call to help a child at risk of harm.

One call can save the life of a child or give a family in crisis the helping hand they need

“…After living the first thirteen years of my life filled with violence...I was finally saved by Children’s Aid. I was put in a wonderful foster home, with people who taught me what a family was supposed to be like.” - Shauna, former youth in care

“...Thanks to Children’s Aid intervention on my behalf, I was able to finally get the services and help we needed as a family to change the direction that my son was going in... I thank the powers that be every day that they came into my life.” – Louise, mother previously in crisis’

“...I was not taken - but rescued - from my abusive home at the age of ten. When apprehended by Children’s Aid, I couldn’t fathom living with strangers. It was terrifying but I had the support of experienced foster parents who taught me that no one had the right to harm me. My social worker became my mentor and I worked hard to live up to the potential she saw in me. I went on to university and became a social worker at the Children’s Aid Society.” – Maura, former youth in care