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Safety

When a children’s aid society (CAS) receives a call about a child or a family, the CAS must immediately determine if the situation requires a child protection investigation. The investigation looks into the reported concerns and determines any action necessary to support the child and family. Protection concerns may include concerns that a child has been abused or neglected or is at risk of being abused or neglected. If an investigation is conducted, the CAS will verify whether there are protection concerns, determine whether a child is in need of protection and what services, if any, will be provided to the family.

CASs are reporting on two safety performance indicators:

  1. recurrence of child protection concerns in a family after an investigation
  2. recurrence of child protection concerns in a family after ongoing protection services were provided

Recurrence of child protection concerns in a family after an investigation

This performance indicator measures the percentage of families that were investigated for child protection concerns (with no further service provided). These families were then later reinvestigated within 12 months, and protection concerns were verified during the reinvestigation.

This data is based on approximately 37,000 to 42,000 investigations that were conducted in each fiscal year by the CASs that are reporting their data (the number of investigations conducted varies from year to year).

The Percentage of Recurrence of Child Protection Concerns in a Family After an Investigation
Year Recurrence of Protection Concerns No Further Protection Concerns
2010-11 18% 82%
2011-12 18% 82%
2012-13 18% 82%
2013-14 17% 83%

The data shows that, for cases that were closed after an investigation, the recurrence of child protection concerns within a family has been between 17 and 18 per cent over four fiscal years. The majority of families did not have a recurrence of child protection concerns within 12 months.

Recurrence of child protection concerns in a family after ongoing protection services were provided

This performance indicator measures the percentage of families that received services from a CAS. These families were then reinvestigated within 12 months following receipt of services and where protection concerns were verified during the reinvestigation.

This data is based on approximately 12,000 to 14,000 investigations that were conducted in each fiscal year by CASs that are reporting their data (the number of investigations conducted varies from year to year).

The Percentage of Recurrence of Child Protection Concerns in a Family after Ongoing Services Provided
Year Recurrence of Protection Concerns No Further Protection Concerns
2010-11 20% 80%
2011-12 20% 80%
2012-13 20% 80%
2013-14 19% 81%

The data shows that, for cases that were closed following the provision of services to the family, the recurrence of child protection concerns has been between 19 and 20 per cent, over four fiscal years. The majority of families did not have a recurrence of child protection concerns within 12 months.

Importance of these indicators

A primary goal of CASs is to keep children safe. Sometimes CASs conduct an investigation but no abuse or neglect is verified or, if it is verified, services are provided, after which CAS involvement ends. However, the family may come into contact with a CAS again (for the same or different concerns and for the same or different child) and a new investigation may be conducted that confirms that new concern. This information shows that the majority of families that are investigated or receive services do not return to the CAS within 12 months for child protection services.

About the data

  • The data tracks recurrence of protection concerns by a family’s involvement in the child protection system and not by a specific child.
  • This information is based on data from between 31 and 34 CASs, depending on the fiscal year (for recurrence following an investigation and for recurrence following the provision of ongoing services).