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See it, Hear it, Report it. Speak up for kids.

09/12/17

We all share a responsibility to protect children from harm. This extends to situations where children are or may be at risk of abuse and/or neglect in their own homes.

In Ontario, we are obligated to report suspected child abuse or neglect and the Child and Family Services Act recognizes that each of us has a responsibility for the welfare of children. It is not necessary to be certain that a child is or may be in need of protection to make a report to The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO). If you have seen or heard something that has you concerned, you owe it to them to make the call. 

What happens when you call? Your call will be received by an intake specialist who is trained to listen to your concerns and ask questions before determining what type of intervention is needed.

If the child is in imminent danger, a child protection worker will respond immediately. We respond 24/7 365 days a year. Child protection workers use clear standards and guidelines when determining the kind of support and services needed to ensure the safety and well-being of children or youth. 

Did you know that in 90% of cases in which the CASO becomes involved, work was done within the family while the child remained at home? We work first and foremost to keep families together.

Why the CASO gets involved

“Child abuse” includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse and/or neglect. It also addresses a pattern of abuse and risks of harm.

Neglect is a pattern where a child’s caregiver fails to provide basic needs such as food, sleep, safety, supervision, appropriate clothing or medical treatment.

Emotional abuse is when a caregiver treats a child in an extremely negative way that damages self-esteem and the concept of self.

Physical abuse is when a child is injured or harmed by his or her caregiver, or when the caregiver fails to do something to protect the child.

Sexual abuse is any sexual exploitation of a child by a caregiver or someone else.

While a single sign doesn’t necessarily mean abuse or neglect is occurring, it can be an indication that something is wrong. Calling the CASO to report suspected child abuse or neglect is more than just your civic duty, it’s your duty to care; to care for the children in your community and to help keep families strong and safe.