The College receives information from the Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC) when the results of an investigation and its respective recommendations are relevant to members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
As per the report, “The Child and Youth Death Review and Analysis (CYDRA) unit at the OCC directly supports the development of effective recommendations for the prevention of further deaths of young persons in Ontario.”
“The goal of child and youth death review is to provide service-level, systemic, and structural recommendations aimed to prevent deaths, and to contribute to public safety and health by supporting recommendations that enhance the overall well-being of children, youth, their families, and communities.”
The report contains two recommendations directed to the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, and the Ontario College of Teachers:
- Issue a practice directive reminding of the enhanced duty to report child abuse and neglect;
- Ensure regulated professionals review training on their duty to report on a biannual basis.
In keeping with these recommendations, the College of Psychologists of Ontario reminds all members of their duty under s. 125 of the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act (CYFSA, 2017) to report child protection concerns to a (Children’s Aid) Society. Members of the College should pay particular attention to sections 125 (6) and 125(9) of the Act which addresses the enhanced duties of a professional to report a suspicion obtained during the course of their professional duties and the applicable fine for failing to make a report. Members are also advised that a contravention of the Act could also result in sanctions by the College.
The CYFSA describes the duty to report, the ongoing duty to report, the inability to rely on someone else to report, and protection from liability when reporting reasonable concerns, in good faith.
Members may find the following resources helpful:
- Report child abuse and neglect: Learn about how to identify and report child abuse and/or neglect;
- Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: It’s Your Duty
In addition to this practice directive, members are reminded that they attest to their familiarity with relevant legislation, regulations, standards, ethics, and guidelines in accordance with the College’s biannual Self-Assessment as per our Quality Assurance Program. Familiarity with the CYFSA (2017) and Section 125 (which outlines the mandatory obligation to report child protection concerns), is found in Section A of the Self-Assessment Guide, as this legislation is applicable to all members.
I thank you for your attention to this important public protection matter,
Tony DeBono, MBA, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Registrar & Executive Director