The Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society is a child protection agency mandated under the Child and Family Services Act in Ontario. Our responsibility is to protect children from harm or the risk of harm due to neglect and physical, sexual or emotional abuse. We fundamentally believe that the protection and well-being of children and youth is a shared responsibility with the community. At KHCAS we believe the most impactful way to deal with child maltreatment is to prevent it.
What is Child Abuse & Neglect?
Child abuse can come in the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.
Physical abuse is any deliberate physical force or action by a parent or caregiver that results, or could result, in injury to a child. It can include hitting, shaking, burning, etc.
Emotional abuse is a pattern of behaviour that attacks a child’s emotional development and sense of self-worth. It includes excessive, aggressive, or unreasonable demands that place expectations on a child beyond his or her capacity. Emotional abuse can also include a caregiver’s failure to provide their child(ren) with love, emotional support, and guidance.
Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used for the sexual gratification of an adult or older child. Coercion (physical, psychological, or emotional) distinguishes sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can take many forms including fondling, sexual intercourse, or exposure to sexual activity. More recently child exploitation through the use of the internet is an increasing vulnerability for children.
Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, sleep, medical attention, education, and protection from harm. It can also mean a failure to provide for the child’s emotional needs, attention, and supervision.