If Your Child is in Care
If your child is in our care, we will try to work with you to ensure that your child receives the best care possible.
A Children’s Service Worker will work with your child and with the caregivers at their placement. Your family will have a Family Service Worker who will work with you.
Call your child’s Children’s Service Worker (CSW) when you have questions about:
- Your child’s placement;
- Access visits with your child;
- Your child’s treatment needs (e.g. medical, dental, counselling)
- Your child’s education; or
- Planning for your child.
Call your Family Service Worker (FSW) when you have questions about:
- Overall planning for your family;
- or Court planning.
Family/Child Access Services
Our Child Access Services ensure that during a child’s placement in the care of the Society the child will have positive and enriching visits with family members. Our Access Centre provides an on-site venue for visits to take place. Visits may also take place at other venues, where this is acceptable to the Society.
Guests, visitors and friends are welcome to join you for the visit, but the visit MUST be approved ahead of time. Please discuss with your worker any guests you would like to join you.
When your child is in care, he or she has the right to:
- Be informed of his or her rights and responsibilities;
- Live in a safe, caring and comfortable home, where rules and responsibilities are clear;
- Be heard and involved when important decisions are being made about them;
- Receive regular dental and medical care;
- Receive an education appropriate to his or her needs and abilities;
- Worship and receive religious instruction, appropriate to his or her background;
- Participate in the development of his or her Plan of Care;
- Participate in cultural activities, heritage and traditions related to your family background;
- Speak and visit privately with family, unless a judge decides otherwise;
- Speak and visit privately with his or her worker, lawyer, advocate, the Ontario Ombudsman, or Member of Ontario’s or Canada’s parliament;
- If your child is of First Nations heritage, speak with or visit a representative of your Band or First Nation’s community.
- Send and receive mail that has been unopened, with certain exceptions;
- Not to be locked in a room or building, except where a) arrested by the police; b) authorized by a judge through Criminal Court proceedings; or c) authorized by a Judge’s Order for Secure Treatment;
- Be notified of and attend court hearings that affect them, unless a court decides that it is not in his or her best interest to be present;
- Receive appropriate discipline, but not physical punishment;
- Receive healthy and nutritious meals;
- Receive sufficient and adequate clothing for his or her age, size and activities;
- Participate in recreational and athletic activities that are suited to his or her interests;
- Reasonable personal privacy and possession of his or her own property; and
- Know the rules and expectations of his or her placement.
Your child has the responsibility to:
- Abide by the rules and expectations of his or her placement;
- Accept reasonable consequences if he or she break any of the rules;
- Cooperate with his or her caregiver and worker;
- Respect the privacy of others;
- Respect the property of his or her caregivers;
- Attend school;
- Seek and secure employment should he or she leave school; and
- Care for his or her personal hygiene.
A Serious Occurrence Investigation takes place when a child in care reports suspected abuse or when abuse allegations are made about a child in care. Some high risk behaviours demonstrated by children are also considered to be serious occurrences.
Durham CAS investigates these situations quickly and thoroughly to ensure your child is safe.
A worker will notify you if a serious occurrence takes place and how the agency plans to protect the child.
As a parent you have the right to complain if you feel that your child’s rights have not been met. You can help your child while in the care of Durham CAS by understanding and making sure your child understands his or her rights and responsibilities.
Complaint Review Process
Durham CAS strives to provide the highest quality service to families and children. If you have concerns about our services, we want to work together with you to resolve them. Please discuss your concern with your worker or his/her supervisor. If you are not satisfied following discussion with them, then you can file a formal complaint.
Additional information is available from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. There are two pamphlets which may be helpful: