Children's Aid Society (Canada)

Children's Aid Society
Type Provincial Children's Aid Society
Legal status Non-governmental organization
Purpose/focus Child and family services
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Region served Canada
Official languages English, French

The Children's Aid Societies (CAS) of Ontario, Canada, are independent organizations empowered by the Ontario government to perform child protection services. The declared goal is to "promote the best interests, protection and well being of children". [1]

Their principal goals are to

  • investigate reports or evidence of abuse or neglect of children under the age of 16 or in the society's care or supervision and, where necessary, take steps to protect the children
  • care for and supervise children who come under their care or supervision
  • counsel and support families for the protection of children or to prevent circumstances requiring the protection of children
  • place children for adoption


The societies receive funding from, and are under the supervision of the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.[3] However, they are regarded as a Non-governmental organization (NGO), which allows the CAS a large degree of autonomy from interference or direction in the day-to-day running of CAS by the Ministry. The Child and Family Services Review Board exists to investigate complaints against CAS and maintains authority to act against the societies. [4]



Children's Aid Societies have authority under provincial legislation [5] to remove children from homes where they face either a risk of harm, or have experienced harm. Children who cannot remain with caregivers are sometimes placed with other family members ("kin"), family friends ("kith"), or in customary care, which is an option for aboriginal children. In other cases, children can be placed into foster homes or group homes, as well as being adopted. In most cases, children remain in their home, where they are provided service by their local Children's Aid Society until there are no longer child protection concerns.

Advocacy Group Membership

Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies(OACAS) is a membership organization representing CASs in Ontario. Influencing public opinion by promoting child welfare issues is a critical goal.[6]


Children's Aid Societies have been found guilty of incompetence, negligence and malicious prosecution.[7] Recently a Psychologist employed by Durham CAS was found guilty for misrepresenting his qualifications.[8] Several children under supervision of CAS have died in the last few years but CAS will not release much information citing privacy concerns.[9]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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