Report Child Abuse

What You Need To Know

If a child or youth indicates or discloses abuse, or if you suspect child abuse, please contact your local  Family & Children’s Service or Children’s Aid or your regional police service. In Waterloo Region, the child or youth, and family, may be referred to the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

According to Ontario’s Child & Family Services Act (CFSA), members of the public and professionals who work with children have an obligation to report promptly to a children’s aid society if they suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection. You do not need to be sure that a child is or is not in need of protection to make a report.

Here are a number of things you can do if a child tells you that he/she has been abused.

Control your emotions:

  • You may be feeling a mix of emotions: fear, panic, disbelief, anger, sadness, confusion, hopelessness.
  • Try to be calm and relaxed
  • Do not look shocked or say mean things about the accused accuser.
  • Allow the child to do most of the talking and keep questions about details of the abuse to a minimum.
  • If you appear overwhelmed, the child may discontinue the conversation.

Offer Comfort.

Some things you can say to the child:

  • Thank them for telling you
  • Tell the child that they were brave to tell and you are glad that they told you
  • Tell the child that you are sorry this happened to them
  • Let them know that they are not alone, this happens to other children too
  • Let them know that you will do everything you can to help
  • You are there to love and support them

Do not:

  • Ask probing questions
  • Call them a liar
  • Ask “How can you say those things about…?”
  • Ask “How could you let him/her do those things to you?”
  • Talk about how the child is tarnished or ruined
  • Ask why they did not tell you earlier
  • Promise not to tell anyone




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