Speak Up For Kids
We all share a responsibility to protect children from harm
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) recognizes that each of us has a responsibility for the welfare of children and a role to play in protecting them from harm.
The CYFSA defines a child in need of protection as a child who is, or appears to be, suffering from abuse and/or neglect.
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. It is not necessary for a concerned individual to have proof of harm or neglect. “Reasonable grounds” refers to the information that an average person, using normal and honest judgment, would need in order to decide to report.
The Duty to report child abuse and neglect applies to any child under the age of 16 years.
On January 1, 2018, Ontario increased the age of protection to include all children under the age of 18 years. A person may make a report where they have a reasonable suspicion that a youth age 16 or 17 is or may be in need of protection. There is not, however, a legislated duty to report concerns involving youth age 16 and 17.