Manager - Communications
October 19, 2016
Toronto, Ontario – Nine Toronto agencies joined forces on Go Purple Day to break the silence and raise awareness about preventing child abuse and neglect, highlighting that it is everyone’s responsibility to report suspected child abuse.
Teachers, students, police and community agencies dressed in purple as part of Go Purple Day at St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School to raise awareness among students about the signs of child abuse and neglect and what to do if they or someone they know is being – or suspected of being – abused or neglected.
Students from St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School read A Tattle-tell Tale: A story about getting help to Grade 1 and 2 students from Earl Haig Public School. Part of a primary prevention series of children’s books, this story teaches children that when they need help with a problem, there is a difference between tattling and telling. Together, the students made a commitment to break the silence.
"It is everyone's responsibility to know the signs of child abuse and neglect," said the Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. "Reporting known or suspected cases to your local Children's Aid Society could make a crucial difference in a child's life. All of us play an important role in protecting the children in our communities."
Last year, over 165,000 Ontarians reached out to Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) with a child protection concern, with teachers and police making the most referrals. Ontario’s leading research study on child abuse and neglect shows children remained with their families in 97% of CAS investigations, a statistic that comes as a surprise to many people. Ontario’s child welfare system focuses the majority of its work on in-home, early intervention services, based on the recognition that early intervention can reduce the need for more intrusive services later. Children’s Aid Societies supports include in-home visits from child welfare workers, and access to helpful services such as counselling, parenting workshops and substance use programs.
Section 72 of Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act, states that everyone, including members of the public and professionals who work closely with children, has a duty to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.