Ontario

Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario have the exclusive mandate under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) to protect children who have been or are at risk of being abused and/or neglected by their caregivers, to provide for their care and supervision where necessary and to place children for adoption (CFSA, 1990). A total of 46 Children’s Aid Societies are specifically designated by the Minister of Children and Youth Services to investigate child abuse and neglect and take the necessary steps to care for children and youth in need of protection.  Seven are designated Aboriginal societies and 3 serve religious communities. Children’s Aid Societies are independent legal entities (corporations run by Boards of Directors) or Indian Bands (that operate under the Indian Act) and are accountable to the communities they serve. In addition to the CFSA, the Ontario Child Welfare Eligibility Spectrum and Child Protection Standards guide child protection workers at each phase of service delivery. For more information, visit the information sheet on Ontario's child welfare system.
 

Ontario - Statistics

Child Maltreatment Investigations in Ontario, 2008* and 2013**

  2008 2013
Child population (0-15) 2,382,035 2,349,600
Number of child maltreatment investigations 128,748 125,281
Incidence of child maltreatment investigations per 1000 children 54.05 53.32

Type of Child Maltreatment Investigation in Ontario, 2013**

  Number Rate per 1,000 children Percent
Maltreatment Investigation 97,951 41.69 78%
Risk Investigation 27,330 11.63 22%

Categories of Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Ontario, 2013**

Category of Maltreatment Number Rate per 1,000 children Percent
Physical Abuse 5,770 2.46 13%
Sexual Abuse 848 0.36 2%
Neglect 10,386 4.42 24%
Emotional Maltreatment 5,620 2.39 13%
Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence 20,443 8.70 48%

Placement in Child Maltreatment Investigations in Ontario, 2008* and 2013**

  2008 # 2008 Rate 2013 # 2013 Rate
No Placement 121,436 50.98 121,020 51.51
Informal Kinship Care 3,616 1.52 1,874 0.80
Formal Placement 3,696 1.55 2,387 1.02

* Fallon, B., Trocmé, N., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Black, T., Felstiner, C., Schumaker, K., Van Wert, M., Herbert, A., Petrowski, N., Daciuk, J., Lee, B., DuRoss, C. & Johnston, A. (2010). Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2008 (OIS‑2008). Toronto, ON: Child Welfare Research Portal. Retrieved from http://cwrp.ca/publications/2293

** Fallon, B., Van Wert, M., Trocmé, N., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Lefebvre, R., Allan, K., Black, T., Lee, B., Rha, W., Smith, C., & Goel, S. (2015). Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2013 (OIS‑2013). Toronto, ON: Child Welfare Research Portal. Retrieved from http://cwrp.ca/publications/OIS-2013

§ Child welfare services fall under the jurisdiction of provincial and territorial authorities, making it difficult to compile statistics at the national level. The most notable variations between provinces include mandate variation by jurisdiction with respect to the age to which children are eligible for services, differences in the length of time a child can receive out-of-home care and the definition of out-of-home care.

Title Authors Year Type
Characteristics of Investigations Involving First Nations Children Compared to White Children in Ontario in 2013

Richard, Kenn
Ma, Jennifer
Fallon, Barbara

2018 Information sheet
Interrupted childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare Ontario Human Rights Commission 2018 Report
Poverty and Ontario’s Child Welfare Involved Population

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
Academic Difficulties among Ontario’s Child Welfare Involved Population

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
Educational Neglect in Ontario

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
Child Protection Investigations Involving Adolescents in Ontario

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
Subtypes of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence Investigated by Child Welfare Authorities in Ontario in 2013

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
A Further Look at Food Insecurity among Ontario’s Child Welfare Involved Population

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
An Exploration of Investigations with Primary Caregivers with Mental Health Concerns in Ontario in 2013

Houston, Emmaline
Black, Tara
Lefebvre, Rachael
Fallon, Barbara

2017 Information sheet
Sexual Abuse Substantiation by Subtype and Outcomes of Sexual Abuse Investigations by Gender

Fallon, Barbara
Collin-Vézina, Delphine 
King, Bryn
Joh-Carnella, Nicolette
Houston, Emmaline
Black, Tara

2017 Information sheet

Ontario - Legislation

Last Name First Name Organizationsort icon Province/Territory
Knott Theresa York University Ontario
Maiter Sarah York University Ontario
Swift Karen J. York University Ontario
Weiss Jonathan A. York University Ontario
Macpherson Alison K. York University Ontario
Kimberly Brisebois Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society Ontario
Cameron Gary Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario
Coady Nick Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario
Nelson Geoff Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario
Stalker Carol A. Wilfred Laurier University Ontario
Baker Linda Western University Ontario
Crooks Claire Western University Ontario
Birnbaum Rachel University of Western Ontario Ontario
Brown Jason University of Western Ontario Ontario
Leschied Alan W. University of Western Ontario Ontario
Rodger Susan University of Western Ontario Ontario
Cummings Anne University of Western Ontario Ontario
Hoaken Peter University of Western Ontario Ontario
Hildyard Kathryn University of Western Ontario Ontario
Jaffee Peter University of Western Ontario Ontario