Child Abuse / Neglect

Child protection services are about protecting children under 16 from abuse and/or neglect while making every effort to keep families together. Under the Children and Family Services Act, designated social workers in child welfare agencies are required to assess reports of alleged child abuse and neglect.

There are different kinds of child abuse:

  1. Physical abuse
    The intentional use of force on any part of a child's body that results in injury.
  2. Emotional abuse
    Anything that causes serious mental or emotional harm to a child, which the parent does not attempt to prevent or address.
  3. Sexual abuse
    The improper exposure of a child to sexual contact, activity or behaviour.
  4. Neglect
    Any lack of care that may cause significant harm to a child's development or endangers the child in any way.

Everyone has the duty to immediately report to a child welfare agency even a suspicion that a child under 16 may be in need of protective services. Reports may be made anonymously. Once a report is made, child protection social workers assess the information provided to determine an appropriate response.