UPDATE - April 12, 2017

Social Assistance Policy Update on Children Placed in Temporary Care

The ministry recently updated its policy regarding the treatment of assistance for children in families on social assistance who have been placed in the temporary care of a Children’s Aid Society, Indigenous Child Well-Being Society or placed by a society with an alternate caregiver. The change is intended to support the reunification of a family when a child in need of protection has been placed into temporary care.

Effective April 1, 2017, a child placed in the temporary care of a society will be maintained as a dependent in the parent’s benefit unit pending a decision on a permanent place for the child to live.  Decisions on permanency may take up to two years or longer, and during that time, full assistance will be provided to support the child’s possible return.

Assistance for children who are already in the temporary care of a society can be reinstated to the parent’s benefit unit effective April 1, 2017. Caseworkers will reinstate assistance as part of regular case reviews. Cases with children in temporary care are expected to be reviewed every three months, or whenever the society’s plan of care is reviewed.

Information on this change is included in the April 2017 Ontario Disability Support Program and the May 2017 Ontario Works statements telling people about this policy change and encouraging them to contact their caseworkers if they have any questions about the change.

I am temporarily caring for a child who is not mine. Can I get money to help with the child's care?

Yes. If you are looking after a child in financial need and you are not the child's birth or adoptive parent, you may be able to receive financial help.

Temporary Care Assistance provides money to an adult on behalf of a child who:

  • needs financial help
  • is not the caregiver's legal dependant, and
  • is not under the care of a Children's Aid Society.


Eligibility for this program is based on the income and assets of the child, not the financial circumstances of the person who is looking after the child. To be eligible, you:

  • must be making reasonable efforts to seek support from the person who is legally responsible for the child, and
  • must not be receiving money from a Children's Aid Society.

The child is also eligible to receive some benefits such as prescription drugs, dental and vision care.

Because individual circumstances vary, eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Apply Online

For more information, please contact your local Ontario Works office.