When you call the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAST) about a child or youth safety concern, you will be able to speak to a Child Protection Worker who will listen to your concerns to assess and determine if a response is required and what type.

The Worker will ask for some information, including the child or youth’s name, age, culture, heritage, identity, and whereabouts, and why you are concerned about their safety or well-being. The Worker will also ask you about the family’s strengths and any known supports.

It is ok if you do not have all of this information and it should not prevent you from calling.

If there is a concern for a child or youth’s well-being, a Worker will assess the information to determine next steps and make a decision on timelines to investigate. CAST has a responsibility and legal mandate to investigate allegations and work with families and the community to promote the safety and well-being of children and youth. All Children’s Aid Societies provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

If you are observing a situation where a child or youth is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Services provided by our Agency will be carried out using the least disruptive course of action required to ensure the child or youth’s safety. Services will focus on building on existing family and community strengths in a manner that respects the family’s identity and principles of inclusion. A child protection worker will work with the family and any community Service partners to support the family to help build safety and assist in resolving challenges that the family is experiencing.

When needed, CAST will provide ongoing services, with the goal of supporting the family to help build safety for children or youth. In serious situations, and only when necessary for the child’s safety/best interests, services may be provided with a court order to ensure child or youth safety is achieved.

Consistent with the best interests, protection, and well-being of children and youth, our services will take the following into consideration:

  • Respect for a child or youth’s need for continuous care, stable relationships with a family and cultural connections
  • The physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and developmental needs and differences among children and youth
  • A child or youth’s race, ancestry, place of origin, race, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
  • A child or youth’s cultural and linguistic needs
  • The goal of achieving permanent plans for child or youth in accordance with their best interests
  • The participation of the child or youth, their parents and relatives, and members of their extended family and community, where appropriate
  • Each family and child or youth is entitled to their privacy. We cannot provide information about the status of a referral or investigation without the written consent of the family involved, even if you were the individual to make a report to our Agency.

Reference: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: It’s Your Duty and Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies: Duty to Report