Child Abuse is Wrong: What Can I Do?
Who can help?
You are responsible for the safety of your children. If you or your partner is struggling to be a good parent, but you think you could do better, ask for help.
You might want to make a list of places where you can ask for help. The list below can help you find people or groups that might be able to help you with information, support or emergency assistance.
These numbers or links may change. Remember to keep them up-to-date.
- Child protection services
Information about the child protection laws in your province or territory. Your local child protection services office can also give you information about laws in your province or territory.
- Global Affairs Canada
For more information about parental child abduction, see "International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents".
- Department of Justice Canada
- Help lines for children and parents
May be able to provide information and refer you to the appropriate services for children. For example, see http://www.kidshelpphone.ca.
- Legal services
Legal help may be available from a lawyer or a legal aid office.* Contact a lawyer referral service, a legal aid office, or a public legal education and information association to find out where you can get legal help and if you can get help free of charge.
- Medical services
Your local hospital, doctor, nurse, health clinic, or medical help line may be able to help you with your child's medical or health needs.
- Multicultural and immigrant serving organizations
May be able to give you information and refer you to helpful services. See also, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Directory of Newcomer Services at: http://www.servicesfornewcomers.cic.gc.ca
Many police officers are trained to respond to child abuse. The police can help you assess a child's safety and take action against someone committing a crime in non-emergency situations. Check the first few pages of your telephone book for the phone number. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- Provincial and territorial youth advocates
- Most of the provinces and territories have created independent children's commissioners, advocates or ombudspersons.
- The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
- British Columbia
- Representative for Children and Youth
- The Office of the Children's Advocate
- Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
- New Brunswick
- Child and Youth Advocate
- Nova Scotia
- Office of the Ombudsman, Youth Services
- The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
- Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
- Saskatchewan Children's Advocate
- Yukon Child and Youth Advocate
- Public health and social services
Call your provincial or territorial government for information about health and social support services in your community or ask your local community centre for advice. They may be able to offer information, counselling and provide referrals to social workers.
- Public Health Agency of Canada
Provides links to information and resources on child abuse through the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/sources/nfnts-eng.php
- Public legal education and information programs
Can provide general information about the law, the legal system, and the rights of an abused child. See more information on family violence and child abuse on the Department of Justice Canada's Family Violence Initiative.
The RCMP website at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca also has information on child abuse.
For information on child abuse, go to "Publications" and look under "Crime Prevention" for "Stopping Child Abuse—Protecting Our Future".
For information on parental child abduction, search for "Our Missing Children."
- Victim services
Victim services organizations work with the police to help victims of crime. They can refer you to counselling and tell you about programs and services for child victims of crime. See the Victim Services Directory to find services across Canada.
Look for other sources of help. You may find help from a local community centre, your doctor's office, public health nurse, a teacher, religious leader or a social agency. Organizations that work to prevent child abuse might also be able to give you more information. See, for example, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection at http://www.protectchildren.ca
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