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What happens during an investigation?

See also:



Timing of the investigation

An investigation begins when a child protection worker assesses a report and believes that a youth or child may need protection.

An investigation determines:

  • whether the child protection worker has reasonable grounds to believe that a child needs protection; and, if so,
  • what action is necessary to protect the child.

Depending on the seriousness of the report and the age of the child or youth, the investigation may start immediately or within 5 days.

Immediate investigation

  • The investigation must be undertaken immediately if the child's health or safety is in immediate danger or the child is particularly vulnerable because of age or developmental level.
  • If you are in immediate danger, call the police!

Delayed investigation

  • In any other case, the investigation must be undertaken within five working days of assessing the report, and completed within 30 days, wherever possible.

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The investigation

Investigations of buse and/or neglect may involve the police, depending on the circumstances.

  • An investigation involves interviews, that could include talking to:
    • the child
    • the parents
    • brothers and sisters and anyone else who lives in the home
    • teachers
    • family doctor
    • anyone else who may know about it or who the child protection worker thinks is relevant
  • A medical examination may be undertaken to make sure the child or youth is not hurt, or if they are hurt, to ensure that injuries are taken care of.
  • If the person who is believed to have abused you lives with you, that person may be asked to leave the home during the investigation.
  • If it is sexual or physical abuse, the police talk to the abuser. Afterwards, the worker will talk to the abuser as well.
  • After investigating, the child protection worker has to decide if there was abuse or neglect, or not.

See the chart that provides an overview of the reporting and investigating process.

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Outcomes

If the child protection worker has reasonable grounds to believe the child or youth does not need protection:
the child protection worker takes no further action
OR

the child protection worker can arrange for family support, if the family wants it

If the child protection worker has reasonable grounds to believe the child or youth needs protection and is NOT in immediate danger:
 

the child protection worker takes available measures that are least disruptive to the child, including:

  • support services
  • court order for essential health care
  • temporary provision for child to reside outside of home with parent consent
  • court order to remove offender from home, or prohibit contact with the child
  • remove the child
If the child protection worker has reasonable grounds to believe the child or youth needs protection and is in immediate danger
 

child protection worker may remove the child

  • If the investigation reveals criminal offences, the police are contacted

 

 
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Updated: June 13, 2008
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