Keeping Kids in our Community Safe and Well
If you feel that a child may be at risk of abuse or neglect, call us immediately. If you are uncertain … just call. We have trained professionals who will help you through the next steps.
In Simcoe County call 1-800-461-4236 and in Muskoka call 1-800-680-4426.
You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you can report anonymously and confidentiality.
When to call
Are you concerned about a child or family in your community? Or, are you overwhelmed and struggling to find support to help with the care and safety of your children? If you or someone you know needs help, please call. We can help.
Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions will take your information and assess what needs to be done. If it is not a child protection concern, we may make a referral to other helping community agencies. If there is a child protection concern, we will investigate further.
We may provide short term intervention to assist a family, or longer term support to ensure that the children are safe and well cared for. Only in cases where all options have been exhausted and the children still remain at risk, or if they are at immediate risk, do we bring children into care.
Know that 98% of the time when we investigate a case, the children remain in the care of their parents or kin. Only in a very small number of cases (2%), a child or children are brought into our care for their safety and protection.
Why contact us
Did you know that it is the legal and ethical duty of every person in Ontario to report their concerns about a child who may be at risk for abuse or neglect? The obligation to report applies to any person, including a person who performs professional or official duties with respect to children, and applies despite the provisions of any other act. You do not have to have proof – only a genuine concern to make a report.
What will happen when I call?
When you call our toll free intake line, you will speak with one of our professional workers who will listen to your concern/s and will use a standard reference tool call the Eligibility Spectrum. This is used to assist workers in making consistent and accurate decisions about a child or family’s eligibility for service.
If it is determined that a further investigation should take place, a child protection worker will meet with the family to assess the child’s safety. The worker may also speak to other children in the family, doctors, teachers, etc. to get a full sense of the potential harm or risk factors in the child’s situation.
At-risk families receive the help they need. This might be a referral to parenting or treatment programs to learn how to improve the quality of care for their children. They are supported, and if there are ongoing protection issues, they may be required to work with one of our family protection workers.
Each year, approximately 2,850 calls to SMFC are serious enough to warrant investigation by a child protection worker.
SMFC child protection workers collaborate with families as well as other community organizations to help protect or improve the well being of a child and/or raise the quality of care being provided for a child.