Amendments to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) to Strengthen Ontario’s Response to Child Sex Trafficking

 To: All Staff 

From: Judy Angeconeb, Director of Services 

CC: Service Managers 

Rachel Tinney, Associate Executive Director, Gail Anderson and Karla Stanley, Assistant Directors of Services 

Amy Hardy and Bill Kuzemczak, Directors of Services, Clara Young, Director of Finance and Administration 

Thelma Morris, Executive Director 

On October 1, 2021, legislation came into effect to assist the child welfare sector in responding to youth who may be involved in child sex trafficking. Bill 251 has amended the Child Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) to allow child welfare workers to intervene in child sex trafficking cases, even if the caregivers are acting appropriately and in a protective manner. It will also allow child welfare workers to bring youth, 17 or 18 years old, who may be in a sex trafficking situation, to another location for up to 12 hours in order to provide support and resources. The legislation has also made changes that would increase the penalties for those who interfere with or harbor youth in society care. 

Effective October 1 both the CYFSA (2017) and the Eligibility Spectrum (2021) has been modified to include these changes: 

CYFSA 74(2) Grounds for Protection now includes: 

d.1 the child has been sexually exploited as a result of being subjected to child sex trafficking; 

d.2 there is a risk that the child is likely to be sexually exploited as a result of being subjected to child sex trafficking. 

Eligibility Spectrum (2021), Section 1-Scale3: Abusive Sexual Activity 

now includes: 

G Child is Being Trafficked for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation 

To reflect these changes, we will be creating agency polices and providing necessary resources to all staff in the near future. In the meantime, here are the links to the CYFSA and new Eligibility Spectrum: 

CYFSA (2017) 

Eligibility Spectrum (2021) 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Service Manager.