Child Welfare Practice Tools and Resources
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA)
The CYFSA is the guiding legislation for child welfare in Ontario. Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies have the exclusive legal responsibility to provide child protection services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The activities and purpose of a society are set out in the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
This CYFSA requires child welfare agencies to:
- Investigate allegations or evidence that children who are under the age of 18 years need protection
- Protect children who are under the age of 18 years
- Provide guidance, counselling, and other services to families for protecting children or for the prevention of circumstances requiring the protection of children
- Provide care for children assigned to its care
- Supervise children assigned to its supervision
- Place children for adoption
Child Welfare Policy Directives
Policy directives operationalize the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017. They set mandatory requirements for Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies in a number of areas.
The Eligibility Spectrum is a tool designed to assist 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. Those with a mandate under the CYFSA to provide child protection services are required to use the tool by policy directive.
The Ontario Child Welfare Eligibility Spectrum is a field-developed, eligibility tool for child welfare in Ontario. Promoting excellence in child protection services, the child welfare eligibility assessment instrument supports Children’s Aid Societies, Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies, their communities, and the children, youth, and families they work with.
The Eligibility Spectrum is a tool designed to assist child protection staff in making consistent and accurate decisions about a child or family’s eligibility for service. Child protection workers investigate allegations of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect and determine if a society needs to become involved.
Download the Eligibility Spectrum here.
Ontario Child Protection Standards (2016)
The child protection standards promote consistent, high-quality service delivery to children, youth, and families receiving services from Ontario Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies. They are the minimum performance expectations for child protection workers, supervisors, and societies.
Ontario’s Quality Standards Framework (2020)
The Quality Standards Framework was introduced in 2020 by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services as part of child welfare redesign. The standards framework is a resource guide aimed at improving the quality of care for children and youth in licensed residential settings.
Equity and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Resources
One Vision One Voice: Changing the Ontario Child Welfare System to Better Serve African Canadians
- Part 1: Research Report EN| FR
- Part 2: Race Equity Practices EN| FR
- Part 3: Promising Practices and Implementation Toolkit EN| FR
Ontario Child Welfare LGBT2SQ+ Organizational Assessment EN | FR
Serving LGBT2SQ Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System: A Resource Guide EN | FR
The Other Side of the Door: A Practice Guide for Child Welfare Professionals Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples EN | Oji-Cree | FR
Part X Resources
Part X of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act
Guide to Part X from the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Guidelines for Submitting Annual Statistics to the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Reporting a Privacy Breach to the Information and Privacy Commissioner: Guidelines for Service Providers
The Library Guides are reference lists and useful resources on specific topics compiled by OACAS for the Ontario child welfare sector.
Stakeholder Research and Resources
Youth in Transition: Pathways to Independence, A Resource Guide for Youth and Workers (ANCFSAO)
Safe with Intervention: The Report of the Expert Panel on the Deaths of Children and Youth in Residential Placements (September 2018)
Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect* – 2018 (OIS 2018)
*For past OIS reports and additional information sheets, click here.
Mashkiwenmi-Daa Noojimowin: Let’s Have Strong Minds For The Healing: First Nations Ontario Incidence Study Of Reported Child Abuse And Neglect-2018
Understanding the Over-Representation of Black Children in Ontario Child Welfare Services: Ontario Incidence Study Of Reported Child Abuse And Neglect-2018
Immigration Status Matters: A Guide to Addressing Immigration Status Issues for Children and Youth in Care (Updated)
Advocacy Positions and Submissions to Government
OACAS Pre-Budget Submissions
OACAS Responses to Government Proposals
OACAS response to the proposed regulatory amendments and policy directive to strengthen supports for youth leaving the care of children’s aid societies (February 2023)
OACAS response to the proposed statutory amendments to the CYFSA – Enhancing Access to Customary Care (October 2021)
OACAS response to the proposed statutory and regulatory amendments to the CYFSA – Improving Access to Prevention Services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Young Persons, and Families (October 2021)
OACAS submission on Ministry Consultations on Proposed Regulatory Changes to Support Implementation of Ontario’s Quality Standards Framework (October 2021)
OACAS response to 2021 Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines (September 2021)
OACAS response to the proposed policy directive to require children’s aid societies to register children and prospective parents who are approved for adoption with AdoptOntario (September 2021)
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