I’m under 18 and don’t live with my parents. Can I get OW?

Learn about when OW will contact your parents

If you apply for Ontario Works (OW), OW will usually want to contact your parents to confirm:

  • the reason you can’t live with them
  • why they won’t support you

OW will ask your parents why you left and whether they’ll let you go back home to live. If you and your parents don’t agree about why you left, OW can’t automatically decide that what your parents say is true.

If your parents say you can live with them but you don’t want to, you have to show OW why living with your parents is not a good idea.

Asking OW to not contact your parents

OW should not contact your parents if they’ve physically abused you or are a threat to your safety.

Tell OW if you don’t want them to contact your parents and explain why.

Going to family counselling

OW may want you and your parents to see a counsellor who can assess what’s happening in your family. Or you might have to go on your own if:

  • your parents won’t go
  • OW decides it’s not safe for you to have contact with your parents

If your parents don’t co-operate

OW can’t refuse to give you assistance only because your parents refuse to take part in a family assessment.

And if OW can’t contact your parents or your parents don’t answer their questions, OW can:

  • ask someone else to confirm what’s happening in your family
  • decide about your assistance based on what you say
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