For someone who suspects child abuse or neglect is occurring

We are all responsible for the safety of children in Ontario. That’s because we all have a legal responsibility in Ontario to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to a children’s aid society.

  • You do not have to be certain that abuse or neglect has occurred in order to report it.
  • You can report anonymously.
  • You are protected from liability resulting from any report made in good faith and on the basis of reasonable grounds.
  • The duty to report applies to all children ages 0-15.
  • You are encouraged to report any known or suspected child abuse or neglect for youth aged 16 and 17.

Contact us during business hours at 905-525-2012 in English, 1-855-550-3571 en français, or after hours at 905-522-8053 to fulfill your duty to report.

What happens when I call?

Our trained intake staff will ask you a number of questions, and will launch an investigation into your report. Our staff will fully assess the situation, and will determine if abuse and/or neglect has occurred, or is at risk of occurring. If not, the investigation will be closed. If so, our staff will ensure the child’s ongoing safety, usually by working with the child’s family to build their capacity to maintain a safe household; this is what happens in 98% of cases. If this is not possible, then the child will be removed from their family, to be cared for by kin, foster parents, or adoptive parents, depending on the situation. This is a relatively rare occurrence.

What constitutes child abuse or neglect?

The most important thing for you to know is that it is not your responsibility to prove that abuse or neglect has taken place in order to make a report; as long as you have reasonable grounds for your suspicions, you must make a report.

Learn more about the different kinds of child abuse and the subtle signs of abuse.

Downloadable resources (PDF)