Black, T., Trocmé, N., Fallon, B., & Houston, E. (2022). Children in Foster Care in Canada in 2016 & 2021. CWRP Information Sheet #240E. Toronto, ON: Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal.
When child welfare authorities deem it unsafe for a child to remain in their home because of concerns related to harm or risk of harm they may place the child in out-of-home care. Nation-wide information on the number of children in out-of-home care is lacking in Canada - which largely stems from the fact that child welfare falls under the jurisdiction of provinces, territories, and First Nations. As a result, there is no centralized system for tracking the number of children in care, and reporting methods as well as inclusion criteria vary considerably across provinces, territories, and reserve boundaries. Although out-of-home placements are often necessary to ensure a child's wellbeing and/or safety, high rates of placements can be an indication of a lack of access to support services or socio-economic conditions that impact a family's ability to meet their children's needs.