The duty to report
Article 72 of the Ontario Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) states that the public must promptly report their suspicions that a child is victim of neglect and/or abuse and may be in need of protection to a children's aid society (CAS).
The duty to report applies to anyone with reasonable grounds to suspect that a child needs protection. [LSEF, par. 72 (1)]
Professionals and officials have the same duties as the public in reporting their suspicions. However, the act recognizes that those who work with children are better informed about the signs of abuse/neglect and therefore are particularly responsible for contacting their CAS in case of a concern. A professional or official who fails to do so may be liable to a fine of up to $1,000. [LSEF, par.72 (4) et (6.2)]
It is not necessary to be certain of a child's need for protection. The Act defines reasonable grounds an average person, using normal and honest judgment, would need in order to report.
Click here for more information on reporting child abuse and neglect.