Ontario’s Child Welfare System

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CECW Information Sheet #31E. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work.

There are 53 child welfare agencies in Ontario, most of which are called Children’s Aid Societies. These organizations have the legal responsibility to investigate reports that a child may be in need of protection due to maltreatment or risk of maltreatment by his/her caregivers. Together, these agencies cover the entire province.

Child welfare activity in Ontario has been increasing over the years. The number of child maltreatment investigations in Ontario has nearly tripled in the past decade, expanding from 45,000 in 1993 to close to 130,000 in 2003. The number of children in care also rose from 10,000 in the early 1990s to over 18,000 in 2003-2004.

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CECW archives material
Information Sheet #31