Child welfare services in Ontario are provided by 38 independent children’s aid societies and twelve Indigenous child wellbeing societies (“Societies”) to deliver child protection services, for a total of 50 societies.  All societies receive provincial funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS).

By policy, coroners in Ontario investigate all paediatric deaths where a Society has been involved with the child, youth or family within 12 months of the death. In 2006, the OCC and the MCCSS implemented a Joint Directive on Child Death Reporting and Review. The Directive outlines the process Societies must follow when reporting and reviewing child deaths when they have been involved with the child, youth or family within 12 months of the death (see Appendix A for more information).

Stemming from the process outlined in the Directive, there are three distinct information sets that are relevant to Societies, the government and the public, resulting from:

  1. The death investigation by the coroner;
  2. Children’s aid society / Indigenous child wellbeing society reporting related to these deaths; and
  3. PDRC - child welfare reviews completed in certain circumstances.

This annual report presents an analysis of this information, to support data driven public safety, by:

  • Comparing paediatric deaths with Society involvement to paediatric deaths without Society involvement;
  • Conducting an analysis of data about paediatric deaths where there has been Society involvement; and
  • Providing recommendations in an effort to prevent further deaths.

Prior to 2014, the PDRC – child welfare’s annual report focused on an analysis of PDRC case reviews.  More can be learned from considering all paediatric deaths with Society involvement, using the information provided by Societies in relation to those deaths.   For this reason, this year’s annual report follows the same approach as the reports published after 2014.

The PDRC – child welfare and the OCC believe that this data is valuable to provide a better understanding of paediatric deaths with society involvement in Ontario. The OCC continues to receive feedback from many parties about the value of the approach and the utility of the information.  It is hoped that by continuing to provide the additional analysis this will assist Societies, policy makers, researchers and the public to identify relevant areas to develop strategies and policies to help prevent further deaths.