Protection proceedings in court occur when children may be in need of protection for many reasons, including abuse and neglect, and therefore may be removed from their families by the Children’s Aid Society (or Family and Children’s Services) through a court order. The Children’s Aid Society, the child’s parents or other caretakers usually have their own lawyers to represent them in court. In these cases, the court may request the appointment of an independent legal representative for a child under the Child and Family Services Act.
At Rogers Law Firm we understand child protection cases are very sensitive and will work with you through every step to obtain a fair and safe resolution for your children.
What are the papers the CAS gave me?
- These papers are legal documents that begin a court case against you. These papers are important and you should read them carefully, take all of them when you come for your initial consultation at Rogers Law Firm, and keep these papers in a safe place.
What should I do?
- You should plan to attend the court date listed on the Application and consult with legal counsel right away. These cases can move quickly and you should gather any documentation you plan to rely on and bring it to your legal counsel's attention immediately.
What happens at the first court date?
- The judge will review the court paper and you may be able to speak with a judge, however, they usually only rely on written evidence (affidavits). The judge will decide who will have temporary custody of your child until the next court date which will include yourself, the CAS, or a third party. The judge will also decided what needs to happen before the case can go any further and will set another court date. The judge might order The Office of the Children's Lawyer for your child. It is not likely a final decision will be made on the first court date.
Why did the CAS check on my family?
- Parents have a legal duty to keep their children safe. The CAS may check on a family if they believe that parents are violent towards each other, parents do things that could harm their children, or a parent does not stop their spouse or other people from doing things that could harm their children. A few examples include insulting a child, hitting or tying up a child, refusing to give a child food as punishment, or touching a child in a sexual way.
How did CAS hear that my child was not safe?
- If anyone has a good reason to believe that a child has been harmed or might be harmed, they must tell CAS. Even relatives, friends, and neighbours have a legal duty to report these situations. People who work with children must report these situations to the CAS or the police can charge them with a crime. Some examples are teachers, doctors, nurses, day care workers, counselors, or social workers. Your lawyer does not have to report about you to the CAS.
What if a CAS work contacts me?
- Try to stay as calm as you can when you talk to a CAS worker. You should try to speak to a lawyer before you say very much. In most cases, the CAS must obtain permission to enter your home. It is usually best to allow them into your home or the situation could become worse. If needed, the CAS may use force to protect a child and can bring the police to accompany them. The CAS worker usually speaks with parents and children separately. They keep notes about anything yourself and your children tell them, this information can be used against you in court.
What can the CAS does?
- The CAS can advise you to do many different things, they might want you to agree to do what they say. Do not sign any papers with the CAS until you receive legal advice.
What if the CAS takes my child away from me?
- Tell the CAS if family members or other adults from your community can take care of your child. If the CAS does not take your child to stay with a relative or friends, then a community agency or a family that is paid by the government will take care of your child. Usually, you will be allowed to visit with your child.
What is the Office of the Children's Laywer?
- It is a law office that represents children and youth under the age of 18 in certain types of court cases. Lawyers represent children in various personal and property rights cases, including custody and access disputes, child protection cases, etc. The OCL only becomes involved if the court makes an order or the law states they must represent a child.
Our website provides general information on legal and related matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should retain qualified legal professionals to advise you in the context of your particular circumstances. If you would like to retain Rogers Law Firm to give you legal advice, please telephone, email or write to any of our lawyers, who will be pleased to discuss whether or not our firm can assist you. Please review the disclaimer at the bottom of our homepage for more information.