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*, 2013** and 2018***

  2008 2013 2018
Child population (0-15) 2,382,035 2,349,600 2,361,870
Number of child maltreatment investigations 128,748 125,281 148,536
Incidence of child maltreatment investigations per 1,000 children 54.05 53.32 62.89

Type of Child Maltreatment Investigation in Ontario, 2018***

  Number Rate per 1,000 children Percent
Maltreatment Investigation 94,476 40.00 64%
Risk Investigation 54,060 22.89 36%

Categories of Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Ontario, 2018***

Category of Maltreatment Number Rate per 1,000 children Percent
Physical Abuse 7,081 3.00 19%
Sexual Abuse 1,019 0.43 3%
Neglect 8,082 3.42 21%
Emotional Maltreatment 4,689 1.99 12%
Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence 17,051 7.22 45%

Placement in Child Maltreatment Investigations in Ontario, 2008*, 2013** and 2018***

  2008 # 2008 Rate 2013 # 2013 Rate 2018 # 2018 Rate
No Placement 121,436 50.98 121,020 51.51 144,351 61.12
Informal Kinship Care 3,616 1.52 1,874 0.80 2,488 1.05
Formal Placement 3,696 1.55 2,387 1.02 1,697 0.71

* Fallon, B., Trocmé, N., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Black, T., Felstiner, … Johnston, A. (2010). Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2008 (OIS‑2008). Toronto, ON: Child Welfare Research Portal.

** Fallon, B., Van Wert, M., Trocmé, N., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Lefebvre, R., … Goel, S. (2015). Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2013 (OIS‑2013). Toronto, ON: Child Welfare Research Portal.

***Fallon, B., Filippelli, J. Lefebvre, R., Joh-Carnella, N., Trocmé, N., Black, T., .... Stoddart, J.(2020). Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2018 (OIS‑2018). Toronto, ON: Child Welfare Research Portal

§ 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
Ontario Incidence Study Of Reported Child Abuse And Neglect - 2018 (OIS-2018)

Fallon, Barbara
Filippelli, Joanne
Lefebvre, Rachael
Joh-Carnella, Nicolette
Trocmé, Nico
Black, Tara
MacLaurin, Bruce
Hélie, Sonia
Morin, Yves
Fluke, John
King, Bryn
Esposito, Tonino
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Allan, Kate
Houston, Emmaline
Harlick, Maria
Bonnie, Nicole
Budau, Krista
Goodman, Deborah
Kartusch, Mark
Malti, Tina
Moody, Brenda
Rasteniene, Jolanta
Parada, Henry
Richard, Kenn
Schumaker, Kate
Stevens, Theresa
Stoddart, Jill

Investigation Report: Johnson Children’s Services Inc. (Thunder Bay)

Ontario Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Investigation Report: “Alex”

Ontario Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Interrupted childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare Ontario Human Rights Commission
Exploring Youth Outcomes After Aging-Out of Care

Kovarikova, Jane

In Harm's Way? Serious Occurances Report Volume 2

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth; Snow, Kim

Because Young People Matter: Report of the Residential Services Review Panel

Residential Services Panel

Provincial/Territorial Protocol On Children, Youth and Families Moving Between Provinces and Territories

Government of British Columbia
Government of Alberta
Government of Manitoba
Government of Saskatchewan
Government of New Brunswick
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Government of Nova Scotia
Government of Prince Edward Island
Government of Northwest Territories
Government of Nunavut
Government of Yukon
Government of Ontario

Reality Check: Findings from the Second Annual Listening Tour of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Searching for home: reimagining residential care Office of the Provincial advocate for Children and Youth
Serious Occurances Report

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth; Snow, Kim

The Bus Ride Home Project: Developing Supports for Ontario's Child Welfare Change-makers in & from Care

Children's Aid Foundation
Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth

The Bus Ride Home Project: Developing Supports for Ontario's child welfare change-makers in and from care

Mickleborough, Lisa for the Children's Aid Foundation; The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Children's Rights Matter to Us: Findings from the First Annual Listening Tour of the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect - 2013 (OIS-2013)

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa
Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sinha, Vandna
Lefebvre, Rachael
Allan, Kate
Black, Tara
Lee, Barbara
Rha, Wendy
Smith, Carrie
Goel, Serena

Researcher Organization Province / Territory
Alaggia, Ramona University of Toronto Ontario
Angelique, Jenney Child Development Institute Ontario
Baker, Linda Western University Ontario
Bala, Nicholas Queen's University Ontario
Birnbaum, Rachel University of Western Ontario Ontario
Black, Tara University of Toronto Ontario
Blackstock, Cindy First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada Ontario
Bogo, Marion University of Toronto Ontario
Brisebois, Kimberly Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society Ontario
Brown, Ivan International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Ontario
Brown, Jason University of Western Ontario Ontario
Brown, Ralph A. McMaster University Ontario
Browne, Gina McMaster University Ontario
Burge, Philip Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Ontario
Cameron, Gary Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario
Clarke, Jennifer Ryerson University Ontario
Coady, Nick Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario
Crooks, Claire Western University Ontario
Cummings, Anne University of Western Ontario Ontario
D'Angiulli, Amedeo Carleton University Ontario