The total number of calls includes all general inquiries and is not limited to reports of abuse or neglect.
Of the total number of calls, this number meets the threshhold for investigations.
Ongoing Service Cases
Protection workers support children, youth and families across three categories:
Children in Care
Children in care
Return to Parent
Of all children and youth in care are returned to parent within 12 months
of our work is with families while their children or youth remain in the home.
decrease in total number of children in care in the last 5 years.
Protection Services Provided by The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa:
Based on 2022-2023 Service Data. Click here for a PDF version.
Service Data: A Closer Look
Intake and Assessment
The number of cases opened for assessment increased marginally last fiscal year with an uptick of 2.8 per cent over the previous fiscal year.
This may be explained by the return to post-pandemic activities and increased visibility of children and youth in the community.
There has been a consistent annual decrease in the number of ongoing child protection cases managed by CASO.
The percentage change from the previous fiscal year was 16.2 per cent.
This decrease in ongoing case numbers can be attributed, in part, to CASO’s increased efforts towards preventative practices. For example, the implementation of the Signs of Safety and Family Finding service models, and efforts to build upon relationships with new and existing community partners.
Children and Youth in Care
The provincial direction towards increased kinship services and our Signs of Safety and Family Finding/Family Engagement service approaches have reduced the number of children and youth under the age of 18 admitted into care—a number that has been decreasing by 29.7 per cent over the past five years and by 9.8 per cent over the previous fiscal year.
Cultural Identity of Children and Youth in Out-of-Home Care
CASO regularly reviews data regarding the ethnicity of children and youth in out-of-home care. This includes children and youth in care, in kin service, in formal customary care arrangements, and youth receiving Continued Care and Support for Youth services. In 2022, there was a higher percentage of children and youth of African and Caribbean descent and of First Nations, Inuit and Métis descent in out-of-home care, compared to other ethnicities. Through ongoing initiatives, including the Service Model for African Canadian Families and the Indigenous Service Delivery Model , we seek to ensure that CASO better serves children and youth from diverse communities. Additionally, we are committed to cultivating partnerships with these communities to enhance our knowledge and understanding of their unique challenges and needs.
Among children and youth in out-of-home care, 18.8 per cent are from African and Caribbean communities. Of this group, only 34 per cent are currently in care, while 44 per cent receive Continued Care and Support for Youth services. Notably, the increase in the count of African and Caribbean children and youth in out-of-home care in 2022 includes those who turned 18 or older while in care. Due to a COVID-19-related moratorium on youth discharges, the service wasn’t terminated at age 21 in the past fiscal year, contributing to a sustained rise in the number of youth in care. Moreover, 14 per cent of youth are placed in kinship services, remaining within their community network while in out-of-home care.
In 2022, 42 per cent of Indigenous children and youth in out-of-home care received in-care placements. Among them, only 3 per cent were in kinship care. About 22 per cent of Indigenous youth in out-of-home care placements are receiving Continued Care and Support to Youth, while 20 per cent remain within their community networks through kinship service placements.
The use of kin service has increased by 6.3 per cent from the previous fiscal year. CASO’s total number of children and youth in care has decreased, showing our commitment to finding and using kin service as a least intrusive placement option when children and youth can’t safely remain in their homes.
It is important to note that kinship service differs from kinship care. When a child or youth is placed in the home of an approved kinship service caregiver, they do not have “in-care” status. Kinship service families are eligible for financial support from the government of Ontario and go through an assessment to ensure they can provide for the child’s safety and well-being. On the other hand, kinship care occurs when a child or youth has “in-care” status with CASO due to increased protection needs. Kinship care providers undergo a more intensive assessment phase, including a provincially mandated training program and a home study. CASO provides both financial and emotional support to kinship care families.
CASO continues to pursue adoption and legal custody orders as permanency options.
Figure 8 illustrates the permanency options achieved by type: adoptions, legal custody that was granted under CYFSA Section 102 (an order where the child or youth does not have Extended Society Care status) and legal custody granted under CYFSA Section 116 (the child must have Extended Society Care status).
As the temporary placement of children and youth in kin homes occasionally leads to permanency in that family, the work of assessing and supporting kin families is closely aligned with that of adoption. The number of children and youth finding permanency through legal custody and adoption has decreased as fewer children and youth come into CASO care.