About Ontario's children aid societies

Update on services during COVID-19 outbreak

Ontario continues to take decisive action to protect the health and safety of all people and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, some services will experience disruptions or delays. We appreciate your patience during this time as the situation continues to evolve.

All essential social services and government offices under the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services remain open.

Children’s aid societies continue to operate and provide services to children, youth and families. Societies are being encouraged to use technology where possible and appropriate, while also observing local public health recommendations. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, youth in care who turn 18 and former youth in care who turn 21 will not age out of the supports and services they are currently receiving through children’s aid societies.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety of all Ontarians, stay at home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible.

Class Action on Behalf of Crown Wards

Were you a Crown ward at any time from the period January 1, 1966 until March 30, 2017? If so, you may be a class member in the class action which has now been certified by the court. The lawsuit seeks money (damages) and other benefits for class members.

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  • Class Members are automatically included in the class action, unless they take steps to exclude themselves (opt out) by March 11, 2018. If you want to stay in the class action, do not opt out.
  • If you opt out, you will not be part of the lawsuit and you will not be able to share in any money or any other benefit obtained for the class if the lawsuit is successful.
  • This lawsuit does not impact your ability to seek compensation now from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board or from any other person other than the Province of Ontario.
  • Please visit https://kmlaw.ca/cases/crown-ward-class-action/ to get more information about this class action and your rights, or contact us at ocwclassaction@kmlaw.ca or

In Ontario, child protection services are provided by children’s aid societies, governed by the Child, Youth and Family Services Act. The ministry provides funding to, and monitors, children’s aid societies. It also develops policies to support child welfare programs, and licenses children’s residences (group homes) and foster homes.

Children’s aid societies are responsible for investigating reports or evidence of abuse or neglect of children under the age of 18, and when necessary, taking steps to protect children. They also look after children who come under their care or supervision, counsel and support families, and place children for adoption.

All children’s aid societies must comply with the Child Protection Standards in Ontario to provide consistent services to all children, youth and their families.

There are 50 children's aid societies across Ontario, including 12 Indigenous societies. A list of the children's aid societies is available online through the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies. Each society is an independent, non-profit organization run by a board of directors elected from the local community, or a First Nation operating under the Indian Act.

Protection Services for 16 and 17-Year Olds

From January 1, 2018, 16 and 17-year olds who are in need of protection will be eligible for the full range of child protection services in Ontario.

If you are 16 or 17-years old, find out about the help available from your local children’s aid society.

If you work with youth, learn about child protection services for 16 and 17-year olds in Ontario.

For more information, contact your local children’s aid society.

Child Protection Information Network

Ontario is implementing the Child Protection Information Network known as CPIN. This will modernize and replace the information systems used by children’s aid societies.

CPIN will help enhance child safety by creating a single information system. It will allow children’s aid societies to securely share confidential child protection information with one another and to better manage case files and finances. They will also be able to track which protection services children have received anywhere in Ontario and their results.

All personal information in CPIN will only be used for providing child protection services.

The Ontario Ombudsman’s Expanded Authority

The Ontario Ombudsman oversees and investigates more than 1,000 provincial government and broader public sector bodies, such as provincial ministries, Crown corporations, tribunals, agencies, boards and commissions, and municipalities, universities, and school boards.

As of May 1, 2019, the Ombudsman’s office is responsible for investigating complaints about services provided by children’s aid societies and residential licensees to children and youth. You may complain to the Ombudsman at any time about your concerns.

For more information, the Ombudsman’s Office can be reached at 1-800-263-1830 or visit: https://www.ombudsman.on.ca/home/.

The Motherisk Commission

The Motherisk Commission delivered its final report on February 26, 2018. The Commissioner made 32 recommendations, directed at a number of ministries and organizations.

If you were affected in any way by the use of Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory’s hair strand testing in the delivery of child protection services and would like to access counselling please contact 1-844-202-2730.