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Ontario child welfare law changes.

Toronto -- Amendments to the Ontario's Child and Family Services Act, now before the legislature include these changes with respect to child protection.

* Requirements in the Act for municipal funding of children's aid societies and municipal representatives on the boards of children's aid societies are repealed.

* The limit with to the time that a child may be in a society's care and custody, other than as a Crown ward, is reduced from 24 months to 12 months in the case of children less than 6 years of age.

* The grounds for finding a child in need of protection will have a lower the threshold for determining whether a child is at risk of suffering harm and for determining whether a child has suffered emotional harm, and to include the concept of neglect in the grounds for finding a child in need of protection.

* The court may consider a person's past conduct toward any child.

* The requirement for public and professionals to report neglect or abuse is expanded to hold professionals liable for not reporting wherever a child is in need of protection. The obligation to report a child in need of protection cannot be delegated.

* access to records is expanded to allow such access where a record may be relevant to a child protection proceeding and where it may be relevant to assessing compliance with certain orders.

* The child abuse register will be repealed.

The Minister is required to conduct reviews of the Act or portions of it at least every five years and to make the resulting reports available to the public.
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Title Annotation:CHILD & FAMILY
Publication:Community Action
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Nov 21, 2005
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