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Call 911 if you or the person you are reporting is in immediate danger.
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-5437 (KIDS) to get help if you, or children you know, are being neglected, abused or sexually exploited. If you believe a child is at risk, you must report it. Help is available in multiple languages 24/7.
Child abuse, neglect and exploitation have many different warning signs. Learn to recognize them.
Removing a child or youth from risk
Child sexual exploitation is a crime. After it is reported, police and Child Intervention caseworkers can remove you or a young person you know from the risky situation. This action is allowed under the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA) to ensure a young person’s safety and well-being. PSECA is based on a few key principles:
- Children and youth involved in prostitution are victims of child sexual abuse.
- Children and youth have a right to physical and emotional safety, security and well-being.
- Children and youth have a right to be safe from sexual abuse and protected from sexual exploitation.
- If a child or youth is involved in prostitution, their family and caregivers do not require child intervention to receive services.
After a child or youth is removed
Community services are available when you, or a young person you know, is removed from sexual exploitation such as prostitution. A Child Intervention caseworker will help you and your family access a variety of supports to meet your needs, including:
- a safe, secure place to stay where you are protected from harm
- medical and psychological assistance
- addiction, mental health and other counselling
- educational programs
- life skills supports
These supports are available whether you live at home with your family or somewhere else.
You do not need a parent or guardian’s permission to access these services when you are:
- 16 and 17 years old, and do not have their support, or do not live at home
- 18 to 24 years and you have a Support and Financial Assistance Agreement with Child Intervention
When a young person needs protection
A sexually exploited child or youth may be required to stay in a protective safe house for up to 5 days to protect their safety and well-being. If this happens to you or a young person you know, we will inform you about your rights as soon as you are placed in the safe house. Find out about child and parental rights and how the laws that guide child intervention protect you.
While you are at the safe house, your caseworker does an assessment to understand your:
- child-protection needs
- medical concerns
- drug and alcohol use
- family supports
- risk to stay involved in sexual exploitation
If the assessment shows that you need to stay longer to be protected, we may apply to the court for up to 2 more 21-day stays.
During this time, we will support you to break abusive cycles and begin recovery in a safe, secure environment. You will be provided services tailored to meet your specific needs. This could include:
- drug and alcohol counselling
- medical assistance
- counselling or psychological services
- educational programming
- cultural supports
- life skills supports
When concerns are resolved
When you are safe and concerns are resolved, we will end our involvement with you and your family, if they are still responsible for you. This can vary depending on a number of factors, including your unique needs. Your caseworker will also help you connect with other services you need.