What if I’m worried about my child’s safety when they’re with my partner?

Talk to a CAS or the police

Your partner might harm your child. Harm includes physical, sexual, and emotional harm. It also includes situations where a child's basic needs for food, shelter, sleep, or clothing are not being met. This is called neglect.

If you are worried about your child being harmed, you can call a or the police. The Children's Aid Society is an agency that has a legal  duty to investigate and, if necessary, protect children from harm.

What happens when you call the CAS

If the CAS thinks that a child might be at risk of harm, a child protection worker will decide what to do. They might visit the child and speak with:

  • the parent or parents
  • the child who might be at risk of harm
  • any siblings of the child or other children in the home
  • any adults in the home, including the child's other parent, step-parent, or any other
  • any witnesses to the reported harm
  • any professionals who work with the child, such as a doctor, counsellor, teacher, or daycare worker

Your partner might say negative things about you to the CAS because they want to punish you for what you have said about them, or for leaving the relationship. You need to be ready to answer questions from a child protection worker and explain how you have been caring for the child. There are many things that that CAS might do, depending on what they find out.

They might decide that your child can be kept safe when they are with you but that they should not see their other parent for a while. Or, they might decide that the other parent can only see the child when the CAS supervises the visits. If the other parent does not agree, the CAS might start a court application to ask a judge to decide how to deal with their concerns about the child.

Or, they might want you and your partner to sign an agreement that lets them supervise your family for a period of time.

In some cases, when the CAS thinks there is a serious or immediate risk of harm, they can take the child out of your care or your partner's care.

You can talk to a lawyer who can give you some legal information and advice about keeping your child safe. If the CAS is involved in your case, a lawyer can tell you about your rights, responsibilities, and options. They can help you get the best possible outcome for your family.

What happens when you call the police

You may also want to call the police if your child needs emergency help right away. When you call the police, several things may happen. For example, the police may:

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