When you contact us with a question or concern about a child’s safety and well-being, a trained child protection worker will answer your call. Their role is to listen carefully so they can understand how to help. They will assess your concerns by asking probing questions so that they can learn more about the risk to the child in the scenario being described.
Some people worry about calling us in case they are mistaken about their concern or might get someone “into trouble”. The law requires you to report any suspicion of harm to a child – it does not require you to prove it. It is our job to put all the pieces together and determine whether or not there is evidence to support your suspicion. We will tell you about the process and the next steps we will take. Callers are asked to identify themselves, but for non-professionals, like a neighbour or friend, this is not required. Professionals who work with children, such as teachers and doctors, are required by law to identify themselves.
Is there always an investigation?
Many concerns are resolved over the telephone. That means we will not need to investigate further because we have assessed that there is no or little risk to the child. Many parents or family members call us directly and can often be helped through a referral to another community agency or with guidance from the child protection worker.
While one call may not in itself always result in an investigation, different calls about the same children or family allow us to identify patterns of concern which may indicate the need for further assessment. This is why we encourage concerned members of the community to call and talk to us – no matter how minor their concern for a child may seem. The background information you share now could enhance our ability to assess any future calls of concern.
Will the child be removed from their home?
Less than ten percent of the children we work with need to be removed from their family and placed with other family members or foster parents. When this is necessary, we will provide a safe and nurturing family-based environment for them to live while working with their parents to find solutions to the problems that are compromising their child’s safety and well-being.
Our service might include providing guidance and counselling or working in partnership with other community resources to provide the parents with the support they need to adequately care for their children.
Every family situation is different.
Bruce Grey Child & Family Services follows a clearly defined – and regulated – process to determine our response to the concerns that you bring. We assess each situation individually, based on the available facts, and aim to be flexible and responsive to the needs of each particular child and family. We will do everything we can to make sure that the child you have contacted us about is safe and well.