At the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, our main goal is to provide the best possible help to families and children and youth. If you have concerns about the help we’re giving you, we want to work together with you to resolve them effectively.
Our approach places a strong emphasis on proactively addressing concerns before they escalate into more significant problems. To this end, we actively engage in partnerships with families, children, and other service providers as we strive to support families and ensure the safety of children and youth. Should a concern arise during your work with us, we strongly encourage you to raise it with your assigned worker and / or supervisor.
If, for some reason, you can’t resolve things with your worker and/or their supervisor, you can get in touch with the manager or director responsible for that area of service. You’re also welcome to bring someone with you to support you during these discussions. We’re here to help you and your family, and we want to make sure your concerns are heard and addressed.
Formal complaint process
If your attempts to address issues at this level have proven unsuccessful, The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa has a formal complaint review procedure. This process involves engaging with an Internal Complaints Review Panel (ICRP), which includes two senior CASO managers who has not been directly involved in your situation and an external individual who is not affiliated with CASO, typically a member of the CASO Board of Directors or a community representative. The role of the ICRP is to fully understand your concerns, identify potential resolutions, and determine the subsequent steps.
To ensure clarity and effective communication, you should submit your complaint in writing. You can submit your complaint to CASO through mail, email, or in person.
Within seven days of CASO receiving your written complaint, you will receive written notification confirming whether your complaint qualifies for a review by an ICRP. If your complaint meets the criteria, you will be informed of a meeting date with the ICRP. This meeting will occur within 14 days of the notification, unless you request a later date.
Following the meeting with the ICRP, you will receive a written summary of the meeting outcomes within 14 days. This summary will include steps for resolution as decided by the Panel. Our commitment is to address your complaint as swiftly as possible.
Matters Eligible for ICRP Review:
- Concerns related to services sought or received from the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa.
- Concerns about the accuracy of your record with CASO.
- Allegations that children, youth and their parents have not been given the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes concerning matters that affect them.
- Allegations that CASO failed to provide reasons for a decision that impacts your interests.
Matters Ineligible for ICRP Review:
- Concerns about services provided to someone other than yourself and/or your family.
- Concerns about services you have received from other agencies.
- Issues that are currently before the court or have been decided by the court.
- Issues that are undergoing another decision-making process under the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act or the Labour Relations Act.
Children and Youth in Care
As a child or youth in care, you have a right to complain or ask questions about the care and treatment you are receiving. We want to hear from you if things are not going well so we can do our best to resolve it. Should you have any concerns or questions please feel free to talk to your worker. If you and your worker cannot sort it out, ask to speak to their supervisor. However, if you and your worker and the supervisor cannot resolve the problem you can start a formal complaint process.
Send an e-mail in the language of your choice to [email protected] including a message explaining your complaint.
Call the CASO Questions, Comments & Concern Line at 613-216-5257. Leave your name, contact information and a message explaining your complaint.
Write a letter in the language of your choice to CASO’s Complaint Office. The letter can be addressed to 1602 Telesat Court, Ottawa, ON K1B 1B1.
No matter what option you choose, we will document any concerns or complaints and follow up with you within 24 hours to discuss next steps. At any time, if you find you are not satisfied, you can request a complaint form for you to fill out and submit.
To Request a Placement Review
Should you have an objection to your placement you may request that a Residential Placement Advisory Committee (RPAC) review your objections to your placement. RPAC will review your placement and make recommendations.
TEL: 613-741-2599 or Toll Free: 1-888-741-2599 [email protected]
Process for Placement Review: If you request a change in placement, your worker should meet with you and your foster parent(s) or caregiver(s) within five days to talk about it.
Other Complaint Mechanisms
Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services
You might also find it helpful to consult the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services’ brochure titled “Do you have a complaint about services you have sought or received from an Ontario Children’s Aid Society?”
Child and Family Services Review Board
If you wish to address your complaint at any point during or after the formal complaint process, you have the option to submit an application to the Child and Family Services Review Board regarding your complaint. Application forms and information about the Board’s process can be obtained from our offices or directly from the Board itself:
- Website: https://tribunalsontario.ca/cfsrb/forms-filing/
- Phone: 416 327-4673
The Ontario Ombudsman is another resource available to you. The Ombudsman investigates complaints from the public related to government administration, including concerns about Children’s Aid Societies. The Ombudsman’s Office strives to resolve complaints informally but may also conduct a formal investigative process. It’s important to note that the Ombudsman cannot compel agencies to change their decisions or processes but can provide recommendations for improvement and follow up on progress. The Ombudsman’s Office is often considered a last resort, so it’s encouraged to explore any available complaint or appeal mechanisms before filing a complaint with them. You can find a complaint form on their website:
- Website: www.ombudsman.on.ca
- Phone: 416 325-5669, 1-800-263-2841
- TTY: 416 325-2648
The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa
For more information on how to make a complaint, please contact your worker or the Manager of Organizational Development and Quality Assurance:
- Address: 1602 Telesat Court, Ottawa, ON K1B 1B1
- Phone: 613 747-7800