Frequently Asked Questions
If your questions have not been addressed by the following, please contact us.
How do I adopt?
In Ontario, many initiatives are in place to facilitate the adoption process including openness agreements between a child’s adoptive family and natural family; a provincial child matching data base to find more families for culturally diverse children and sibling groups; clinical supports; and adoption subsidies. Adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child in the care of Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies are asked to participate in a home study through the Structured Assessment Family Evaluation (SAFE) tool and training and assessment through the Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) model. When you contact your local Children’s Aid Society, agency staff can answer your questions and begin the adoption process with you.
I was adopted. How do I find out information on my birth parents?
Please read the Ministry of Community and Social Services website for more information
What is a CAS?
The Children's Aid Society (CAS) , also known as Family and Children's Services (F&CS), is a non-profit agency working in local communities to provide help and support to children and their families. Established under the authority of The Child and Family Services Act , the CAS is a non-profit corporation formed by concerned people in each community. The CAS is operated by a board of directors elected from the local community and by the membership at large. Board members have a specific interest in the welfare of children and offer individual skills to assist in running the agency. The board of directors reflects the opinions of the community it serves. Programs and services are developed in response to the needs of children and families in the local community.
When should you call CAS?
As soon as you suspect abuse or neglect anytime - 24 hours-a-day , 7 days-a-week . A phone call to CAS will bring immediate help to a child at risk of abuse. It is not your responsibility to determine whether abuse or neglect has occurred. Each CAS is responsible for the investigation and the assessment of abuse and neglect of children and also the ultimate management of a case when a child is taken into care. Please contact your local CAS immediately if you have concerns about a child.
Who calls CAS?
- Professionals and citizens call CAS when they suspect abuse or neglect.
- Families call CAS when they have difficulties managing their children.
- Children call CAS when they are encountering problems at home.
Legislation requires that
A person who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection must make the report directly to a Children's Aid Society and that people who work with children who suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect must report these suspicions to the CAS; failure to do so could subject the person to a fine.
Who looks after the child in CAS care?
Most children receive care in foster homes or group homes in or near their home community. Some children may require placements geared to their special needs. Foster families are able to provide care, understanding and relief to many children during a family's time of crisis. Placements are usually temporary with the plan to return the child to the natural family following regular counselling and visits. As a last resort, the court may make a child a crown ward if the family situation cannot be restored. At that time, a permanent plan for the child will be developed.
What happens when parents refuse to provide medical care for their children?
When a child is at risk due to health reasons, medical professionals seek court intervention to protect the child and Children’s Aid Societies are called upon to act. Under the Child and Family Services Act, a child is in need of protection where the child has suffered or is at risk to suffer harm by a person or a person’s failure to care for, supervisor or protect the child. Children’s Aid Societies supervise medical treatment and care for the child when parents refuse or are unavailable to consent to treatment. According to the CFSA, “A child is in need of protection where…the child requires medical treatment to cure, prevent or alleviate physical harm or suffering and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide, or refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, the treatment; (Section 37, 2, (e))”