At the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS), the health and safety of our children, youth, staff, resource providers and volunteers remains our top priority; we continue to take a proactive approach to protect those we serve. We want to do our part to continue to limit the spread of infection and ensure we are able to meet the needs of our community.
In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Province of Ontario has identified children’s aid societies as an essential service; therefore,
**Please be assured the public can continue to access child protection services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 905.333.4441 or 866.607.6547 (KIDS)**
As of August 7, 2023, our Burlington office will be open from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Friday. Our Milton Office is open for family visits; however, visits continue to be by appointment only.
We have a Building Better Together plan and a Business Continuity plan in place and we actively monitor the pandemic situation and respond as required. Effective March 16, 2020, practice guidelines were put in place for all Society operations and those guidelines were revised effective June 16, 2022.
- All clients will be screened before staff meet with them. Client screening questions will be asked at the point of intake screening and by all workers who are conducting in-person meetings with clients.
- We have renovated our front lobby and visit rooms to serve you better and ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff.
- The Halton CAS has an Immunization Policy and procedure in place. All employees, resource providers, volunteers and students are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they have a valid reason not to be vaccinated based on a protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
- Effective December 7, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required for any service recipient wishing to access a volunteer drive who is above the age of 12. Service recipients 12 years of age and older will be required to answer the COVID-19 screening questions and show proof of vaccination prior to entering the volunteer’s vehicle. Drives will continue to be offered to un-vaccinated service recipients through third party options such as taxi services.
- Due to continuing restrictions regarding the pandemic, we have implemented a hybrid model of working with onsite rotational work. We have implemented virtual meeting technology to ensure social distancing practices are followed.
- Large group training and meetings are taking place virtually; however, in-person training can occur for events with up to 20 participants.
- Staff, volunteers and resource providers have been asked to notify the Society if they, or any person who resides with them, have any symptoms of illness or if someone living in their household has been advised to self-isolate by a health professional.
- Resource providers have been asked to notify the Society with information about all planned travel activities for children and youth in our care. We expect that all government travel advisories be followed.
- In-person youth programming can occur for events with up to 20 participants.
- Volunteer Mentors are able to meet in-person, indoors or outdoors, in accordance with current Public Health guidelines and following all other guidelines in the Society’s A Mentor’s Guide to In-Person Visits during the Pandemic.
- We have created a centralized reporting system for all absences, potential illness notifications and pandemic related inquiries.
- We have enhanced our daily cleaning schedules and disinfecting of our buildings is taking place.
- We have increased the number of hand sanitizing stations and implemented best practices with respect to hand washing and routine practices.
- We have comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procedures in place and PPE is available for all staff, volunteers, service recipients and visitors to the Society.
- We will continue to adjust and re-calibrate our plans as required and appreciate your support.
The Halton Children’s Aid Society is committed to continually monitoring and updating our plans so that we are responsive to the evolving environment.
For more information on COVID-19, we encourage you to stay informed by regularly visiting the Halton Region Public Health website at www.halton.ca/coronavirus.