October is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Your call to Children’s Aid could be the most important in a child or youth’s life

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year the Halton Children’s Aid Society is joining the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and Children’s Aid Societies to raise awareness about the importance of calling Children’s Aid with concerns about the safety or well-being of a child or youth. This year’s campaign specifically highlights the devastating impact neglect—which is classified as a type of abuse—can have on a child or youth.

“A child who is neglected is consistently not having their vital needs met. That could mean poor nutrition, lack of attention to hygiene or unattended physical and medical needs,” says Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS. “From a child welfare perspective, neglect is a concern because it ultimately affects a child’s ability to thrive.”

Child neglect can be difficult to assess, as harm caused by the absence of something is not always readily apparent. Child neglect can be caused by the inability of parents or caregivers to meet a child’s basic needs including food, shelter, clothing, education, supervision, medical care and safe surroundings.

Provincial research shows that approximately 90 percent of the children and youth that receive protection services from Children’s Aid live in families that are struggling with chronic needs such as poverty, mental health and addiction. It is important to understand that although poverty can be a risk factor for both neglect and abuse, children and youth are also abused or neglected in families with higher socio-economic status. Every community has an important role to play in helping prevent incidences of neglect and abuse.

In Halton, and across the province, children and youth remain with their families in 97% of CAS investigations, a statistic that comes as a surprise to many people. Halton’s community-based program focuses the majority of our work on in-home based on the recognition that early intervention can reduce the need for more intrusive services later.

“No one should hesitate to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to a Children’s Aid Society. Making that call can support a child and their family in getting the help they need. This can mean services and supports, and making the right connections in their community,” says Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.

Quick Facts

  • 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario.
  • Dress Purple Day will take place on October 24, 2017. To launch this provincial day of action, the CN Tower will be lit purple on October 23rd from sunset to sunrise. (A standard set light show will run for eight minutes at the top of every hour.)

If you have concerns about a child call:


Click here for more information on reporting abuse.

Contact Us

Burlington Office 1445 Norjohn Court Burlington, ON L7L 0E6
Milton Office 325 Main Street East Milton, ON L9T 1P5
Toll Free: 866.607.KIDS (5437) Phone: 905.333.4441 Fax: 905.333.1844 TTY: 711 (TTY to Voice)
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