Standard 8 Closing a Case


Closing a case is the final step in the continuum of child welfare service provision that began with the receipt of a referral that a child was in need of protection. This standard outlines the requirements with respect to:


The intent of this standard is to ensure that the decision to terminate child protection services is made based on observable changes in behaviour and family functioning which are indicative of a low risk of future child protection concerns. The standard emphasizes that service termination should be a carefully planned process of transition in which the CAS gradually decreases the intensity of its interventions, and the family gradually assumes full responsibility for the safety and well-being of its children.

Standard #8 Case Closure


Before closing a case, the child protection worker reviews the case with the family, collateral service providers, and a supervisor. The decision to terminate provision of child protection services is approved by a supervisor during consultation.

The following minimum criteria must be met when a decision is made to close the case:

At the time of termination of service the family should be able to demonstrate:

Sometimes the CAS may need to close a case, even though the minimum criteria have not been met. Reasons for such closures include the following:

Prior to termination of child protection services, the child protection worker has a termination meeting with the child and family and discusses with the family a plan for accessing services in the community to meet individual or family needs in the future before the risk of subsequent maltreatment becomes escalated.

In addition, the child protection worker informs collateral agencies of the intended case closure and the estimated timeframe within which the closure will take place.

Case review and termination documentation (in accordance with Standard 7 – section on Case Review and Termination) covering the period from the date of the last case review to the date of service termination is required when closing a case.

The case review and termination documentation is completed within three (3) weeks of the termination meeting with the child and family and is approved by the supervisor and closed on the electronic database within seven (7) days of receipt of the documentation.

Practice Notes
Indicators of Family Readiness for Closure

When the child protection worker is considering whether or not to close the case, the following are some indications that the family may be ready to manage on its own:

Involving the Family in Discussions of Case Closure

Ideally, the child protection worker and the family together make the decision to close the case when the family has successfully eliminated or adequately reduced the risk of future child protection concerns. The family is involved in discussions about case closure so that:

The family and the child protection worker may reflect together on their successes and achievements.

Involving the Worker’s Supervisor in Discussions of Case Closure

The child protection worker’s supervisor is involved in discussions about case closure so that:

Involving Collateral Agencies in Discussions of Case Closure

Collaterals are involved in discussions about case closure so that:

Case Closures Where No Clinical Assessments Required

No clinical assessments (e.g. risk re-assessment, family and child strengths and needs assessment) are required when closing a case under the following circumstances:

Case Closure Letter

To formalize the case closure, it may be beneficial to provide the family with a case closure letter outlining the reasons for the termination of child protection services, and information about accessing community resources in the future (if appropriate) and retain a copy of the letter in the case record.