Make a complaint regarding a children's aid society

If you have concerns about the services you have sought or received from a children's aid society (CAS), you have a right to complain. In many cases, you can discuss and resolve any concerns directly with your case worker or their supervisor in a way that provides good solutions for everyone involved. When this is not possible, you can complain in writing directly to the CAS.

Below are the ways to file a complaint.

Make a complaint

You can make a complaint about a CAS by submitting a complaint:

Review the complaint

If you've submitted a complaint directly to a CAS, the CAS will respond within seven days to determine if a review is needed. If so, a meeting will be scheduled with the CAS' internal complaint review panel within 14 days.

If you've submitted a complaint to the CFSRB, you'll receive a response within seven days. If your complaint requires a review, notice of a hearing will be sent to you within 20 days.

Receive a decision

If you've met with the CAS' internal complaint review panel, you'll receive a decision in writing within 14 days.

If you were required to attend a CFSRB hearing, you'll receive a decision in writing within 10 days.

 

Keep in mind that the CAS and CFSRB review processes cannot consider:


Learn more details about filing a complaint about a CAS with the CFSRB or about the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth's Investigative Unit.

Complaining directly to a CAS

How to make a complaint to a CAS

Put your concerns in writing and submit them to your local CAS by delivery, mail, fax or e-mail. Explain your problem clearly and include all of the details that are important to you, so that those reviewing your complaint will understand your concerns.

Reviewing the complaint

The CAS' internal complaint review panel will consist of a small number of people who have not been directly involved with your case. The CAS executive director will select panel members from society staff, including one senior manager, and will also choose one person not employed by the society.

Meeting with the CAS internal complaint review panel

The CAS complaint review process is designed to be fair and objective. You will be able to discuss your complaint with people who are not directly involved with your case. The goal is to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible in a way that works for everyone. An interpreter will be provided by the CAS if you need one. You can bring one person to support you at the meeting, as well as one representative of your band or native community, if applicable.

The review panel may ask questions to better understand your concerns. Within 14 days after the meeting, the panel will send you and the executive director of the CAS a written summary of the results of the meeting, including any agreed upon next steps. If at any point in the complaint review process the complaint is resolved to your satisfaction, the CAS will send you confirmation of the resolution in writing.

Complaining directly to the CFSRB

You do not always need to go through the CAS internal complaints review panel process before complaining to the CFSRB. In most situations, you can file a complaint with the CFSRB directly and follow their detailed steps on how to proceed.

When you have concerns about the CFSRB

Decisions of the CFSRB cannot be appealed. However, if you have concerns about the CFSRB, the Ontario Ombudsman may investigate complaints and may report and make recommendations arising from such reviews.

Reporting to the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

The Provincial Advocate's investigative unit may conduct an investigation concerning a child or group of children receiving services from a CAS, or residential licensees, where a CAS is the placing agency. Investigations by the Provincial Advocate can only be initiated as a last resort. You must exhaust all other complaint procedures before a request for an investigation can be made.

Contact information

Child and Family Services Review Board
1075 Bay Street, 7th Floor
Toronto ON M5S 2B1
Telephone (416) 327-4673
Toll Free 1-888-728-8823
TTY (416) 327-9247
Fax (416) 327-0558

Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
401 Bay Street, Suite 2200
Toronto, Ontario M7A 0A6
Telephone: (416) 325-5669
Toll Free: 1-800-263-2841
TTY: (416) 325-2648
Fax: (416) 325-5681
Email: advocacy@provincialadvocate.on.ca