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Duty to Report Abuse or Neglect

Regulated health professionals must uphold the duty to report abuse or neglect.

Child Abuse or Neglect

When a child is, or may be, in need of protection because of possible abuse or neglect, you must promptly report to a Children’s Aid Society.

Get contact and other information for all Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies: oacas.org.

The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) recognizes that certain professionals have a duty to report abuse or neglect, when there are reasonable grounds to suspect it. That includes health care professionals like occupational therapists.

Visit the Ministry of Children and Youth Services: Reporting child abuse and neglect website. 

Elder Abuse

Reporting elder abuse is mandatory when the individual resides in a long-term care home or a retirement home (Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and Retirement Homes Act, 2010). If the client is in immediate risk of harm, you must take action, which may include contacting emergency personnel.

Sexual Abuse 

If an occupational therapist believes a patient may have been or is being sexually abused by a fellow occupational therapist or another regulated health care professional, they are required to file a mandatory report.

Mandatory reports are not optional.

These reports are made to the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario or, as appropriate, to the College of another regulated health care professional.

In a number of situations:

  • occupational therapists,
  • their employers or managers,
  • facility operators,
  • other regulated health care professionals, and
  • their business partners or associates

have a legal obligation to make a mandatory report about other regulated health professionals, including occupational therapists.

Mandatory Reports 

In situations that could expose clients or colleagues to harm or injury, occupational therapists must submit a mandatory report with a regulatory body.

Learn more about mandatory reporting obligations.