If you have questions that have not been addressed below, please contact us!

1. Who calls CAS?

Members of the public, including professionals who work with children, have an obligation to report promptly to CAS if they suspect that a child is or might be in need of protection.

2. When should I call the police rather that CAS?

  • If a child is in imminent danger, then the number to call is 9-1-1.
  • If a child under the age of 16 years has been assaulted, call the police (This would include any assault by someone who was not a caregiver at the time. Examples of this would be a sexual assault by a stranger or by a peer.)

3. Can I make a referral to CAS anonymously?

  • All calls to CAS 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 and helps to verify the concerns.
  • It is important to know that you can call CAS and consult a protection worker without identifying the family you are concerned about.

4. When should I call CAS?

  • If a person has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or might be in need of protection, they must promptly report the suspicion and the information to CAS.
  • If a person has made a previous report about a child and suspects that a child is or might be in need of protection again, that person must make a further report to CAS.
  • The person must make the report directly to CAS and must not rely on anyone else to report.

5. What is the age of the children to whom the "Duty to Report" applies?

CAS is required by law to intervene in any situation where a child under 16 has been, or is threatened with physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or neglect.

6. Is it illegal to spank my child?

  • The Criminal Code of Canada allows for parents to use "reasonable force" to punish their children.
  • CAS believes that other forms of discipline are more successful to manage children's behaviour.
  • CAS responds to cases where physical punishment has been used in an inappropriate or excessive manner and could lead to a child being injured, or has led to a child being injured.

7. What if parents are unable to provide for their children?

  • When parents are unable to safely care for their children, CAS places the children in the homes of the family's friends or relatives, or in foster homes, or in alternative residences.
  • Some of these residences are managed directly by CAS and some by other community agencies.

8. How do I go about becoming a foster parent?

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, or have questions about how you might begin the process to become a foster family, contact us at (519) 539-6176 or 1-800-250-7010.

9. Is there training or evaluation for foster parents?

  • Once approved as a foster parent, you will receive ongoing training and other educational opportunities
  • A CAS worker will visit you regularly to lend support and guidance in providing care to the child
  • You will also have access to services that your foster child might need and 24-hour access to emergency CAS support

10. What is adoption?

  • Adoption is the legal process that gives a new family to a child whose birth family cannot care for him or her
  • It is intended to provide the child with permanence and security and a forever family
  • In Ontario, adoption is arranged through CAS, private adoption agencies, or directly through the courts if the adoptive parent is a relative or step-parent (People often explore their options in all three systems.)
  • CAS is responsible for adoption locally. The children waiting for adoption are in foster care with CAS.

11. How do I adopt?

In Ontario, adoption can be arranged through a number of options:

  • Public adoption through CAS.
  • Private adoption through a licensed agency of individual.
  • International adoption through a licensed organization.

12. I was adopted. How do I find my birth family?

Children and parents now have more access than ever to finding birth family and adoption information.

Ontario's new adoption information disclosure legislation allows:

  • Adopted adults to apply for copies of adoption orders and birth registrations.
  • Birth parents to apply for information from adoption orders and birth registrations.

For more information and FAQs about searching for adoption records in Ontario, visit ServiceOntario.ca

13. I am dissatisfied with the service I received from CAS; what do I do?

  • CAS is required by law to have a complaints procedure.
  • You can either ask your worker's supervisor for a copy of the complaint procedure brochure or call CAS and ask to have a copy mailed to you.