During coroners’ inquests into the death of children, Children’s Aid Society case workers often testify about the difficulties in getting information from others who work with children.
To help create awareness to encourage professionals to report child abuse and clear up misunderstandings about privacy, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario teamed up to create a resource booklet.
The booklet, called Yes, You Can that was released on Jan. 20, 2016 says all too often a child may be at risk but it isn’t reported because professionals often don’t think they can release the information.
Under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA), anyone with suspicions that a child has been abused has a duty to report it to the CAS even if the information is protected or privileged, the guide says.
Ontario’s privacy legislation allows institutions to release personal health information to CAS so they can carry out their mandate to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.