Duty to Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

The provincial Child and Family Service Act (CFSA) recognizes that the public, including professionals who work with children, such as dentists, must promptly report any suspicions that a child is or may be in need to protection directly to a children’s aid society. This is called a duty to report.

Professionals should never hesitate to report suspected child abuse or neglect, says the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. It is your legal duty to make a report to a children’s aid society where you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection.

The legislation specifies that a person who acts in accordance with the duty to report is protected from civil actions, unless the person acts maliciously or without reasonable grounds for the suspicion.

Any professional, such as dentists, nurses, physicians and pharmacists, who fails to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect is liable upon conviction to a fine of up to $1000, if this information is obtained in the course of their professional or official duties.

Locating a children’s aid society

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: It’s Your Duty brochure
Click here to download brochure

Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal

Yes, You Can. Dispelling the Myths About Sharing Information with Children’s Aid Societies