Policy Directive: CW001-15 Use of and Reliance on Hair-Strand Drug and Alcohol Testing

This policy directive is issued under s. 20.1 of the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) to provide direction to children's aid societies (CASs) on the use of and reliance on hair-strand drug and alcohol testing in the course of providing child protection services.

Effective Date

This policy directive will come into effect on the date of its issuance.

Introduction

By Order in Council 143/2014 dated November 26, 2014, the Lieutenant Governor in Council appointed the Honourable Susan Lang to undertake a review of the adequacy and reliability of the immunoassay hair-testing methodology utilized by the Motherisk laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children between 2005 and 2010 for use as evidence in child protection and criminal proceedings.

In response to a recommendation from the Honourable Susan Lang, the government of Ontario has determined that it is desirable to expand the mandate of the independent review and extend the review until December 15, 2015.

The intent of this policy directive is to provide direction to CASs on the use of and reliance on hair-strand drug and alcohol testing.

Requirements

  1. CASs shall not use or rely on hair-strand drug and alcohol testing in the course of providing child protection services.

Reporting

  1. By April 30, 2015, each CAS shall confirm in writing to the ministry that upon issuance of this directive it ceased use of and reliance on hair-strand drug and alcohol testing in the course of providing child protection services.

Issuance of Policy Directive CW001-15: April 22, 2015

Original signed by:

Aryeh Gitterman
Assistant Deputy Minister
Policy Development and Program Design Division
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Rachael Kampus
Assistant Deputy Minister
Service Delivery Division
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

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