Services in Ontario - Child protection

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Legal aid certificates


Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 711

If you get a legal aid certificate, this means that LAO pays a lawyer to work for you. To get a certificate you must show that you have a low income by giving information about your income, property, and savings.

And, your legal issue must be one that LAO covers. You may get a certificate for some legal issues about:

  • domestic violence
  • family law
  • criminal law
  • immigration law
  • refugee law

To apply for a legal aid certificate:

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.

If you can’t wait for a legal representative to call you back, or if you don’t have a call-back number, email Or, if you’re in crisis or in custody, call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Ontario Legal Information Centre


Contact Information

Phone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462

The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone in Ontario by telephone or in person at their Ottawa office in English or French. They can provide legal information in any legal topic, and referrals to services.  You have to leave a message and a lawyer will call you back.

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies


Contact Information

Phone 416-987-7725 Toll-free 1-800-718-1797

The association has a list of all Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario that can help you find your local office. Children’s Aid Societies have a legal duty to look into every report of a child who is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed.

First Nations Child and Family Service Agencies


Contact Information

Phone 613-230-5885

This website has a directory you can use to find contact information for First Nations child and family service agencies in Canada.

Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services


Contact Information

Phone 416-325-5666 Toll-free 1-888-789-4199

The Ministry is responsible for services provided by Developmental Services Ontario, Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, and the Family Responsibility Office.

They are also responsible for Community Services including help for women who have experienced domestic violence, programs for Indigenous peoples, and searching for adoption records.

Go to their website or call them to:

  • learn about these services
  • apply for these services
  • get application forms

Adoption Council of Ontario


Contact Information

Phone 416-482-0021 Toll-free 1-877-236-7820

The council helps people who were adopted or who have adopted a child. It provides services such as a helpline, workshops, seminars, information, peer support, and counselling.

Ontario Ombudsman


Contact Information

Phone 416-586-3300 Toll-free 1-800-263-1830

Ontario Women’s Legal Centre


Contact Information

Toll-free 1-833-632-0838

The Center offers free legal information and legal summary advice about family law, immigration and refugee law, housing law, and criminal law in cases of sexual assault in French to Francophone women in Ontario who are experiencing family violence. There is no financial eligibility test.

You must first call or email the legal support worker who will ask you for some information to understand your legal issue. A lawyer will call you back, usually within 4-5 days. The lawyer will spend up to 4 hours to answer your questions, give you advice, and review documents and forms.

The Centre also offers what’s called limited scope retainer or unbundled services. This means you pay a lawyer to help you with part of your case.

Canadian Council of Muslim Women

The Canadian Council of Muslim Women provides Muslim women in Canada with culturally appropriate referrals to legal information and advice in family law, as well as with other issues like housing, mental health, and food bank services. It includes referrals to lawyers, as well as imams and social services organizations such as shelters. You have to email this intake form, and the service will try to respond within 24 hours.

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