We all share a responsibility to protect children from harm. You can do your part in helping to protect children from potential abuse and neglect by ensuring you know your duty to report and who to call if you have a concern.

Ontario’s Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) provides for protection for these children. Section 125 of the CYFSA states that 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 (society). The CYFSA defines the phrase “child in need of protection” and explains what must be reported to a society. It includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, and risk of harm.

Who is a “child in need of protection”?

The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) defines a child in need who is or who appears to be suffering from abuse and/or neglect.

Who is responsible for reporting a child in need of protection?

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.

What are “reasonable grounds” to suspect child abuse or neglect?

It is not necessary for you to be certain a child is or may be in need of protection to make a report. "Reasonable grounds" refers to the information that an average person, exercising normal and honest judgment would need in order to make a decision to report.

What happens when I call a Children's Aid Society?

Your call is received by a Child Protection Worker who has been trained to listen to your concerns and ask questions before deciding how urgent the situation is and what type of intervention is needed. Child Protection Workers have the responsibility and the authority to investigate allegations and to protect children. The workers may, as part of the investigation and plan to protect a child, involve the police and other community agencies. All Children's Aid Society provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information, please read the brochure pdfWhat Is Your Duty to Report?

Additional Downloadable Resources:

If you know or suspect a child is in need of protection, call the Children's Aid Society of Oxford County at (519) 539-6176 or 1-(800) 250-7010.