I think a child is being abused. What do I do?

If you know a child is being abused, you must report it. If you think that a child is being abused, you must report it.

The law requires you to report child abuse or your suspicions. You do not have to give your name when you report it.

To report child abuse, contact:

Many of these organizations are listed in basic online searches.

Find information about the signs of child abuse.

What happens after I report child abuse?

Generally, a child protection worker meets with the family and the children to investigate. If the worker believes that the children were abused, the worker will determine what happens next. It depends on the individual situation.

The worker may:

  • Order the family to get counselling.
  • Remove the child temporarily from the home.
  • Involve the police and lay criminal charges against the suspected abuser.

If you are in this situation and you have questions or concerns, you can contact a lawyer or community legal clinic about your case.

For More Information

  • Abuse - Fact sheets about abuse, its signs and how to get help. From Kids Help Phone.
  • Child Abuse Facts - Provides information on child abuse, including how to report abuse and how to help an abused child. Provided by Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention.
  • Children's Mental Health Centres - This portal can help you find the nearest treatment centre for children's mental health problems. From Children's Mental Health Ontario.
  • Children's Aid: Information for Parents - This fact sheet has information about when a Children's Aid Society (CAS) might contact a family, and what to do if a CAS contacts you. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario). You can get it in many languages.
  • Family Law - Clear language publications on family law and related topics. From Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario.
  • Navigate the Child Welfare System - A guide for Ontario's Black community from the One Vision One Voice program led by the African Canadian community. It is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services through the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.
Last updated: June 7, 2023 4001345