Child Protection Services
KRRDCFS believes that:
•children have the right to grow up in a family environment which is nurturing, permanent, and safe, which maximizes well-being;
•children have the right to continuity of care to enable them to develop and maintain a positive/secure relationship with a parent; and
•in planning for children involved with KRRDCFS, permanence within the child’s own community is of primary consideration (parent, extended family, relative and/or child’s community).
The main goals of KRRDCFS Family Services are:
•to maintain a strong focus on child safety, well-being and permanence;
•to provide case-sensitive, customized responses for referrals alleging protection concerns;
•to strengthen assessment and decision-making by implementing a family-centred decision making;
•to increase the emphasis on engaging children and families in service;
•to build on existing strengths and increase families’ capacity; and
•to involve a wide range of informal and formal supports in the service planning process.
In normal circumstances, KRRDCFS believes that children are best cared for in their own family homes as members of the family. This belief is moderated by the fact that not all families are able to provide adequate care for their children at all times and the child must be removed from the family home for his/her best interests.
In Ontario, this is outlined in the legislation titled “Child, Youth and Family Services Act (2017)”, which designates Children’s Aid Societies as the mandated organization that are obligated to intervene when reasonable and probable grounds exist to believe that a child is at risk or at substantial risk of harm as a result of the parents’ or caregivers’ inability or failure to protect the child. This designation is assigned by geographic and cultural jurisdictions as follows:
The Children’s Aid Societies in the Districts of Kenora and Rainy River are:
Family Service Workers are trained to respond to all reports of child abuse and to assess the degree of risk to the child’s safety through the use of a tool called the Ontario Differential Response Model. The goals of this model are:
•to use strength-based practice in critical decision making;
•earlier permanency planning for children; and
The degree of risk which leads to the child being found in need of protective services, whether the child remains in the family home or is brought into the care of KRRDCFS, must be continually balanced with the risk of harm which might result if the child were removed, kept away from, returned to, or allowed to remain with the parent.
When KRRDCFS provides child protection services, either family support, admission prevention, protection services, voluntary or non-voluntary, staff are guided by KRRDCFS’ beliefs and attitudes that dictate how these services are provided. Many of the value assumptions are tied to the legislation under which we are mandated, the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (2017), while others are unique to KRRDCFS. Ultimately, these provide a reflection of how we relate to our clients and community at large.
Society and the community at large also have a responsibility to children and their families. The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (2017) outlines each individuals DUTY TO REPORT. Section 125 of the CYFSA states that the public, including professionals who work with children, must promptly report any suspicions that a child is or may be in need of protection to a children’s aid society (society). The CYFSA defines the phrase “child in need of protection” and explains what must be reported to a society. It includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, and risk of harm. The duty to report applies to any child who is, or appears to be, under the age of 16 years. On January 1, 2018, Ontario raised the age of protection from 16 to 18. A professional, or member of the public, who is concerned that a 16-or 17-year-old is or may be in need of protection may, but is not required to, make a report to a society and the society is required to assess the reported information. [CYFSA, s. 125(4)]