Manitoba

Manitoba Family Services

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Volume 1:
Agency Standards
Chapter 3:
Child Protection
Section 3:
Child Abuse
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2008/07/02
Last revised:
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Child Abuse

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This section covers the definition of abuse, child abuse investigations, agency child abuse committees and the child abuse registry under The Child and Family Services Act.

Section 1.3.4, Provincial Child Abuse Investigations and Section 1.3.5, Child Sexual Exploitation contain additional requirements relating to the reporting and investigation of child abuse.

Legislation
Policy
Standards
Protocols

Legislation

Definition of Child Abuse
Agency Child Abuse Investigations
Child Abuse Committees
Child Abuse Registry

Definition of Child Abuse

The definition of abuse in section 1 of The Child and Family Services Act refers to an act or omission by a person that results in physical injury to a child, emotional disability of a permanent nature or likely to result in such a disability, or sexual exploitation of a child with or without a child’s consent.

Agency Child Abuse Investigations

Agencies are responsible for determining if a child is in need of protection (including abuse). The police are responsible for determining if a person has committed an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) or The Child and Family Services Act (see Child Protection Offences in Section 1.3.7, Working with Law Enforcement).

Section 18.4 of The Child and Family Services Act prescribes the process agencies and police must follow in conducting child protection investigations. In addition, section 18.5 requires an agency to report information that a child is or might be abused to its child abuse committee.

Investigations by the Director of Child and Family Services under section 18.6 of the Act are covered in this manual in section 1.3.4, Provincial Child Abuse Investigations and in Volume 2, Facility Standards, under Policies and Procedures in the Child Care Facility Licensing and Standards Manual.

Section 2 of the Child Abuse Regulation prescribes the actions an agency must take on receiving information that a child is or might be abused.

Child Abuse Committees

Agencies are required under section 19 of The Child and Family Services Act to establish child abuse committees. Subsection (2) provides for the establishment of joint committees for participating agencies. Section 36 of the Child and Family Services Authorities Regulation transfers the power to establish joint committees to child and family services authorities. Subsection 19(3) of the Act lists the duties of committees. The remaining subsections pertain to committee and judicial processes for entering the name of a person on the child abuse registry.

Section 3 of the Child Abuse Regulation prescribes the number and composition of committee members. The balance of the regulation deals with the functions and operations of committees and reporting requirements.

The Schedule to the regulation contains prescribed forms that are used by child abuse committee a follows:

Form CA-1 – Notice of Opportunity to Provide Information
Form CA-2 – Affidavit of Service of Notice
Form CA-3 – Notice of Intended Entry on the Child Abuse Registry

Child Abuse Registry

The provincial child abuse registry established under section 19.1 of The Child and Family Services Act contains information on persons who have abused a child as defined in the Act. The Director of Child and Family Services (Child Protection Branch) is responsible for the operation of the provincial child abuse registry.

Section 19 of the Act contains provisions relating to the reporting of names for entry on the registry. Agencies are required under subsections 19(3.4) and (4) to report for entry on the registry names of persons who have abused a child. The courts and police are also required to report names under subsections 19(6) and (7) respectively.

Under section 19.3 of the Act, access to information on the registry is limited to specific organizations or persons and for specific reasons. Subsection 19.3(2) applies to child and family services agencies, subsection (2.1) to licensed adoption agencies, subsection (3) to peace officers, subsection (3.1) to employers and others, and subsection (4) to a person wanting to know if his or her name is on the registry. Section 19.3 also provides for a person to object to information on the registry and for removal of names from the registry.

Policy

Child Abuse Investigations Services
Agency Child Abuse Coordinators
Committee Operations
Reporting Names for Entry in the Registry
CAR Check Forms and Procedures
CAR Check Fees
Agency CAR Checks
Accessing Information in the Registry

Child Abuse Investigation Services

The four child and family services authorities are individually and collectively responsible for ensuring the availability of child abuse investigation services throughout the province. In most instances, this responsibility is carried out by designated intake agencies as part of their duties under sections 4 through 8 of the Joint Intake and Emergency Services by Designated Agencies Regulation.

Child abuse investigation services provided by designated intake agencies must include the following components:

  • a capacity to receive referrals on a twenty-four hour basis

  • collaboration with police, health professionals and other persons as required under section 2 of the Child Abuse Regulation

  • continuity in the investigative process when a case is opened or transferred for ongoing services

  • continued involvement of collateral service providers as required to complete an investigation

  • a child abuse coordinator (see below) and, when feasible, trained child abuse investigators to assist case managers and others in the investigative process

Agency Child Abuse Coordinators

Section 3 of the Child Abuse Regulation requires an agency to have a child abuse coordinator. Agencies are expected to assign the duties of a coordinator to a worker or supervisor who has a sound working knowledge of the requirements of this function.

In areas where responsibilities for child abuse investigation services are carried out by a designated intake agency, other agencies may rely on the DIA child abuse coordinator.

Committee Operations

Child and family services authorities are individually and collectively responsible for ensuring child abuse committees operate throughout the province (see section 36 of the Child and Family Services Authorities Regulation and section 7 of the Child Abuse Regulation).

In the absence of alternative arrangements and procedures agreed to jointly by the four authorities, child abuse cases investigated by a designated intake agency are referred to its committee pursuant to section 19 of The Child and Family Services Act and subsection 7(2) of the Child Abuse Regulation.

Reporting Names for Entry in the Registry

The Child and Family Services Act requires agencies, courts and police to report the names of persons found to have abused a child for entry in the child abuse registry. Names must be reported in a confidential manner pursuant to subsections 19.3(1) and 76(3) of the Act.

Agency Reporting to the Child Abuse Registry – Agencies report findings of child abuse committees under subsections 19(3.4) and courts under subsection 19(4) and (5) of the Act. Reports are submitted in writing by email, fax or regular mail to:

Child Abuse Registry Unit
Child Protection Branch
201-114 Garry Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 4V5
Fax: (204) 948-2222
Email: CAR@gov.mb.ca

Agency Responsible for Reporting – The four child and family services authorities are individually and collectively are responsible for ensuring the names of persons found to have abused a child are reported to the child abuse registry. As a general rule, the agency that completes a child abuse investigation and refers a case to a child abuse committee has responsibility for reporting unless a designated intake agency is given this responsibility. 

Reporting each Finding of Abuse – To comply with subsection 19.4(2) of the Act relating to removal of a person’s name from the registry, agencies must report each committee and court decision that a person has abused a child and, for a committee, that the person’s name should be entered in the registry (see section 19.3 of the Act). Agencies are also required to report the same incident when a person has objected to a committee decision under subsection 19(3.3) of the Act and the court has found the person abused a child.

Reporting Child Abuse Committee Decisions – The required information is submitted on forms prescribed by regulation or required by the department. The following forms are available through the Child and Family Services Information System:

Form CA-3 – Notice of Intended Entry on the Child Abuse Registry pursuant to subsection 19(3.3) of the Act
Form CAC-C – Child Abuse Committee – Case Information and Decision
Form CAR-2 – Report on a Person Who Has Abused a Child

If the person does not object to entry of his or her name in the registry, the forms listed above must be submitted to the CAR unit immediately following the expiration of 60 days of giving the person notice pursuant to section 19(3.4) of the Act. If the person objects to entry of his or her name in the registry by filing a notice of application under subsection 19(3.5) of the Act, the forms must be submitted immediately following a court decision that the person abused a child. Form CA-3 may be sent to the CAR unit prior to the expiration of 60 days of the giving of notice, but the person’s name is not entered on the registry until statutory requirements have been met.

Reporting Court Decisions – To carry out their responsibilities under subsection 19(4) of the Act, an agency must submit written information by email, fax or regular mail to the CAR Unit giving the full name of the person and the police incident number (preferred) or the court disposition date. The name of the child victim is also helpful in assisting CAR Unit staff to confirm the court decision. An agency may use Form CAR-2 to submit the required information.

Entering Information on CFSIS – This statement applies to agencies with access to CFSIS. Information on persons found to have abused a child is entered in the Alleged Maltreatment Incident window (CS31) for each incident. Information is entered at each stage of the process and becomes part of the agency service record (see Case Categories in Section 1.7.1, Service Records).

Entering Names in the Registry – The CAR Unit in the Child Protection Branch enters names in the registry based on information and documents received from agencies, courts and police.

CAR Check Forms and Procedures

The Child Protection Branch has developed child abuse registry and prior contact check forms and procedures as follows:

Child and Family Services Agencies – Forms and instructions for child and family services agencies are available through the Child and Family Services Information System. There are two application forms:

CAR-CFSI – Application for a Child Abuse Registry Check – CFS Investigation
CAR-CFSO – Application for a Child Abuse Registry Check – Other

CAR-CFSI is used when investigating a child in need of protection. No consent is required by the subject of the record. It is not used for screening a person unless risk factors are identified.

CAR-CFSO is used to assess persons applying to provide work or services to an agency such as potential employees (including respite providers), foster home applicants, family residences to be used a place of safety, adoptive applicants, volunteers and students. It can also be used to screen individuals having contact with or in relationship with children and families receiving services.

Licensed Adoption Agencies – Forms and procedures for licensed adoption agencies are available through the Child Abuse Registry Unit. Adoption agencies use the Application for a Child Abuse Registry Check by an Adoption Agency (CAR-AA).

Peace Officers – The CAR check form used by peace officers is similar to the investigation form used by child and family services agencies. The Application for a Child Abuse Registry Check by a Peace Officer (CAR-PO) was distributed to all police forces in Manitoba and is available through the CAR Unit. When an officer calls requesting information in the registry, the CAR unit confirms whether the officer’s detachment has the application form. If not, the unit immediately faxes a copy to the officer. Upon receiving the completed application, the unit completes the check and advises the officer of the results by telephone as soon as possible. Peace officer applications have the same priority as CFS investigations.

Employers and Others – Forms and procedures for employers and other organizations are available through the Child Abuse Registry Unit. They use the Application for a Child Abuse Registry Check by Employers and Others (CAR-EO).

Self-Checks – Any person may apply to see if his or her name is on the registry by completing and submitting an application by mail or in person. The Application for a Child Abuse Registry Check-Mail (CAR-Mail Short) is available on line at www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/child_abuse_registry_form.html. The CAR-In House is given to persons who apply in person to the CAR Unit at:

Child Protection Branch
102-114 Garry Street Winnipeg MB R3C 4V5
Tel: (204) 945-6967

Prior Contact Checks – The CAR Unit also conducts prior contact checks required by regulation for licensed adoption agencies and, when requested, child and family services agencies. Forms and procedures for prior contact checks are available through the CAR unit. Adoption agencies use the Application for a Prior Contact Check by an Adoption Agency (PCC-AA). CFS agencies use the Application for a Prior Contact Check by a CFS Agency (PCC-CFSA).

CAR Check Fees

Effective November 1, 2003, persons applying for a Child Abuse Registry check are required to pay a $10.00 fee where applicable. The fee must be submitted with the application.

Applications are exempt from a fee if they are for one of the following purposes:

  • to determine whether a child is in need of protection for a child and family services investigation
  • to assess an adoptive applicant by a child and family services agency or an adoption agency
  • to assess a volunteer, a student trainee or someone in a work placement program who is to work with children
  • to assess a person applying for a foster home licence or requiring approval as a place of safety
  • assist a peace officer, the Children's Advocate or the Chief Medical Examiner in carrying out their duties.

Agency CAR Checks

The Child Protection Branch has given designated intake agency staff direct access to the registry through the Child and Family Services Information System to ascertain if a person is listed in the registry. Direct access is authorized to assist in child protection investigations and to assess a person or family as a place of safety (see Family Residences in Section 1.4.2, Place of Safety). Direct access is also given to agencies in the course of conducting prior contact checks (see Section 1.8.3, Screening Tools and Practices). The forms listed in this section must be used.

Child and family services agencies must submit the appropriate CAR check form to access detailed information in the registry (see CAR Check Forms and Procedures in this section).

Accessing Information in the Registry

The Child Abuse Registry Unit at the Child Protection Branch is responsible for ensuring compliance with confidentiality and access provisions in section 19.3 of The Child and Family Services Act. Access to information in the child abuse registry is restricted to persons (individuals and organizations) listed in the Act.

Child and family services agencies may apply for access with the person’s written consent to assess a potential employee, foster parent, homemaker, parent aide, volunteer, student trainee or adoptive applicant. An agency may also apply for access without consent of the person when it conducts a protection investigation (see Agency CAR Checks in this section).

Licensed adoption agencies may apply for access with the person's written consent when the information is required by the adoption agency to assess an adoptive applicant, a potential employee, volunteer or student trainee.

Peace officers may apply for access when the information is required for carrying out their duties including investigations under the Criminal Code (Canada) and The Child and Family Services Act.

Employers or other persons may apply for access (with the person's written consent) to determine if a person is listed in the registry. The information must be required by the employer or person for assessing a person whose work involves or may involve the care of a child or may permit unsupervised access to a child.

Any person may apply for a check to determine if his or her name is listed in the registry.

Standards

  1. Coordination of Child Abuse Cases – Unless agreed to by the four authorities and the Director of Child and Family Services, an agency must have at least one person assigned to carry out the duties of a child abuse coordinator (see Agency Child Abuse Coordinators in this section), preferably in a position designated to carry out this function. For a large agency with district or sub-offices, it may be necessary to assign this function to more than one person and to have more than one designated position. In areas where responsibilities for child abuse investigation services are carried out by a designated intake agency, other agencies may rely on the DIA child abuse coordinator.

  2. Child Abuse Coordinator Job Descriptions – The job description of an agency staff assigned to carry out the child abuse coordination function includes the following duties:

    • Acting as a resource to agency investigators and case managers (see Standard 12 in Section 1.1.2, Assessment).

    • Arranging, attending and facilitating child abuse committee meetings.

    • Assisting as necessary in providing persons suspected of abusing a child an opportunity to provide information to a committee.

    • Tracking cases to ensure names of persons suspected of abusing a child are recorded on the Intake Module and names of all suspected child victims are attached to the name of the suspected abuser.

    • Tracking cases to ensure the names of persons found to have abused a child by a committee or the courts are reported for entry on the child abuse registry.

  3. Child Abuse Committee Information and Contacts – An agency maintains a current file on each of its child abuse committees. Committee files are readily accessible by agency staff involved in child abuse investigations including intake workers, case managers, supervisors and child abuse coordinators. At a minimum, committee files contain the following information:

    • a current list of committee members and the organization they represent

    • contact information for committee members including their addresses, phone numbers and, if available, email addresses and fax numbers

    • meeting schedules and locations

  4. Preparing Committee Documents – An agency maintains an administrative system whereby committee documents relating to objecting to entry in the registry under section 19 of The Child and Family Services Act are promptly and properly prepared. The system for committee documents may be combined with the one required for court documents (see Standard 3 in Section 1.3.2, Legal Proceedings).

  5. Storage of Committee Documents – An agency maintains a filing system whereby documents for child abuse committee proceedings under section 19 of The Child and Family Services Act are readily accessible to:

    • an agency child abuse coordinator

    • the intake worker or case manager and supervisor involved in the case

    • administrative support staff responsible for preparing and storing the documents
    • agency management and counsel

When applicable, copies of the documents noted above are also placed on the family protection file and/or child-in-care file of the abused child (see case categories in Section 1.7.1, Service Records).

  1. Reporting Names of Abusers to the Child Abuse Registry – An agency reports the names of a person found to have abused a child to the Child Protection Branch for entry in the child abuse registry in accordance with the agency reporting requirements (see Reporting Names for Entry in the Registry in this section). Reports are submitted to the branch immediately from the date of the committee or court finding that a person has abused a child. This standard applies each time there is finding by an agency child abuse committee or court that a person has abused a child and, in the case of a committee, that the person’s name is to be entered into the child abuse registry.

Protocols

In August 2001, the ministers of four provincial departments signed the Revised Guidelines for Identifying and Reporting a Child in Need of Protection (Including Abuse). You can access the guidelines on the Family Services website at www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/child_protection.

Part 1 – Child Protection
Part 2 – Child Abuse
Part 3 – Abuse Investigations
Part 4 – Disclosure
Part 5 – Provincial Child Abuse Registry

There are also child abuse manuals (protocols) available under Publications on the Provincial Advisory Committee on Child Abuse (PACCA) website. These are resource manuals for various professions involved in reporting and investigating child abuse.

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