Complain to the Child and Family Services Review Board

The Child and Family Services Review Board (Board) is separate from the (CAS). The Board is responsible for reviewing certain actions and decisions of CAS.

The Board can only review certain things, such as if CAS:

  • wouldn’t review your complaint
  • didn’t give you reasons for their decision
  • didn’t give you a chance to be heard
  • didn’t follow certain timelines when responding to your complaint

You don’t have to complain to CAS before going to the Board.

You also don’t usually have to wait for CAS to finish their internal review before you can complain. But if you’ve asked CAS to correct something in your file, then you have to wait for them to finish their internal review before complaining to the Board.

To complain, you have to fill out the Board’s Application about Complaints Against a Children’s Aid Society. You can call the Board at 1-888-728-8823 or 416-327-0111 and ask for a case processing officer to help you with the form. You can also get a lawyer to help you.

The Board sends your Application to CAS. They do this so that CAS gets the chance to respond to what you’ve complained about.

Decision on whether to review your request

The Board must write to you within 7 days to tell you if they will review your request.

If they agree to review it, CAS has 10 days to respond to your Application.

Then the Board has 20 days from agreeing to review your request to either:

  1. make a decision based on written documents from you and CAS, or
  2. give notice that a hearing will be held to decide your complaint.


If the Board decides to hold a hearing, they schedule a pre-hearing within 40 days of deciding to consider your request. The pre-hearing is a chance for you and CAS to make an agreement on what should happen. If you can’t agree, it’s also a chance to help you and CAS prepare for your hearing.

To help you agree, the Board offers . Mediation is voluntary. This means you and CAS must agree to take part in mediation. You can’t be forced to mediate.

The mediation is with a Board member. This Board member doesn’t participate in your hearing if you and CAS can’t reach an agreement.

If you can’t agree with CAS, the Board may help you and CAS prepare for the hearing by helping you:

  • define the issues you and CAS disagree on
  • identify your witnesses
  • choose a date for the hearing

If there is no agreement, the Board sends you and CAS:

  1. a summary of what was discussed at the pre-hearing
  2. a notice with the date, time, and location of the hearing


Your hearing must be held within 60 days of the Board deciding to consider your request.

It may be held in person, in writing, by phone, or video conference. It usually takes a day.

You present your evidence first and CAS presents their evidence after.

A Board member hears your application. They make a written decision no more than 30 days after your hearing.

If you disagree with the Board’s decision

You may be able to get the court to review the Board’s decision. This is called a “judicial review”.

You can talk to a lawyer who can give you advice about whether you should complain to the Board or how you can get the Board’s decision reviewed.

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