The Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) works with the community to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth—that’s not new. What is new is the way we work—keeping child safety first, while supporting families.
The Community Protection Department investigates all allegations of abuse and neglect. We provide support to families of children and youth who may need protection.
There are two key roles—community protection workers and family support workers. The community protection workers are the first to learn about a child, youth or family concern. They work collaboratively with the family and community service partners to develop a plan of service that will help resolve any protection concerns.
The Halton CAS offers services to the family to assist parents or caregivers to build healthy families and provide a safe and nurturing home.
The family support workers and community protection workers work together. We also call on extended family members and community partners to create safe environments for children and youth.
What Happens When You Call Us?
When you call, a member of our team of workers will ask questions to understand your concerns. We’ll ask for names, addresses, schools, dates of birth, etc. We will then ask a range of questions about the story, the current location of the child(ren)/youth and anything else you can share with us.
With the information we have, the worker who took your call will consult with a Supervisor about the next steps. Do we need to act urgently? Is there a chance of injury? Is the child/youth highly vulnerable, such as a newborn? Our first concern is the safety of children and youth and our work is guided by both professional and government standards. Depending upon the type of risk involved, the case may be assigned to a worker who meets with the family to offer support. However, if severe risk of harm or abuse is imminent, we will act with the police to keep children and youth safe.
When families need support, we help them connect to programs that address their needs. For example, COMPASS is a program through which families receive in-home counseling to improve parenting skills and address mental health issues.
If there are any concerns about risk, we create a safety plan for the child/youth. We always look to take the least intrusive measures first and we look to other family members to assist.
We believe it’s important to keep families together. Our last resort, where there is no safety plan available, is to bring children/youth into care through short- or long-term foster care providing the most stable environment possible.