In Ontario, Children's Aid Societies (CAS) are NGOs that receive funding from, and are under the supervision of the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. There are 49 Children's Aid Societies in Ontario, 11 of which are specifically Indigenous societies. In Ontario, CASs are exclusively legally responsible for offering child protective services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Some Children's Aid Societies are referred to as Child and Family Services. In Kingston, Ontario, the organization serving the area is called "Family and Children's Services of Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington."
"CASs are exclusively legally responsible for offering child protective services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day"
What Do They Do?
CAS helps to protect infants, children and youth who are at the risk of experiencing any form of abuse such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse through neglect or abandonment. They also provide extra assistance and support to families when needed. Depending on the individual situation, CAS sometimes removes children from their unsafe homes or conditions and takes these children into their care. CAS will always look for other family members and next of kin before placing the individual into foster or group care. When there is no option for the individual to return to their family or home, they are placed into other substitute forms of care, such as adoption. However, in 97% of investigations done by CAS, the child remains in the home and receives supportive services. CAS also conducts assessments and provides ongoing crisis intervention services. Some of the early intervention services allow vulnerable families access to counsellors, parenting programs and partnerships with other community agencies.
"In 97% of investigations done by CAS, the child remains in the home and receives supportive services"
The Child, Youth, and Family Services Act outlines the activities and purpose of a Children's Aid Society. It indicates that CASs are required to:
Investigate allegations or evidence that children who are under the age of 18 years are in need of protection
Protect children who are under the age of 18 years
Provide guidance, counselling and other services to families for protecting children or for the prevention of circumstances requiring the protection of children
Provide care for children assigned to its care
Supervise children assigned to its supervision
Place children for adoption
What Is the Children's Aid Foundation of Canada?
The Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is a leading charity that is dedicated to helping kids go from "Surviving to thriving" by improving the lives of children and youth who are growing up/from the welfare system. This foundation helps to empower children and youth to break the cycle of neglect and abuse that they were born into. The charity fills the gaps between what the government provides and what children and youth need in order to create a confident and successful future for themselves.
The Children's Aid Foundation partners with 74 child and youth-serving agencies across Canada, in order to best serve diverse populations of children and youth involved in the child welfare system. They raise and grant funds, and develop a variety of programs.
Please consider donating to the Children's Aid Foundation if you are interested in supporting children and youth in the system: https://www.cafdn.org/ways-to-give.
Written By: Prish