Eligibility Spectrum

The Ontario Child Welfare Eligibility Spectrum is a field-developed, eligibility tool for child welfare in Ontario. Promoting excellence in our provincial child protection services, the child welfare eligibility assessment instrument supports the Ontario network of Children’s Aid Societies, their associated communities and the children, youth and families they serve.

The Eligibility Spectrum is a tool designed to assist Children’s Aid Society child protection staff in making consistent and accurate decisions about a child or family’s eligibility for service at the time a society becomes involved.

Child protection workers investigate physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect and determine if a society needs to become involved to protect children and youth from domestic violence; help children find adoptive families; provide family care for children; and support families and youth in conflict.

The revised Spectrum (2016) contains additional scales and items to assist decision making in areas resulting from changes in legislation, current research, practice and inquest recommendations from the Office of the Chief Coroner. The 2016 version is the result of a group of dedicated Children’s Aid Society (CAS) professionals  who completed research and consulted with frontline staff and stakeholders throughout the province to ensure the revisions made reflect the interests and needs of the sector.