Oshawa Family Lawyers Representing Clients at Child Protection Proceedings and Children’s Aid Matters
In Ontario, child protection services are provided by various Children’s Aid Societies, funded by the government. Children’s Aid Societies are responsible for investigating reports of, or evidence of, abuse or neglect of children under the age of 16. Where necessary, a Children’s Aid Society will take steps to protect children and will also take care of children who come under their care, will counsel and support families where needed, and will place children for adoption.
There can be significant consequences for families if a Children’s Aid Society becomes involved. Families facing intervention by a Children’s Aid Society are advised to contact a family lawyer with specific experience handling such matters as soon as possible.
At Borden Family Law, our lawyers frequently deal with this very particular area of family law, and can help guide you through these complicated and often delicate matters. We understand how stressful it can be for a parent who has been contacted by Children’s Aid. We pride ourselves on our client-focused service and take the time to understand each family’s unique circumstances and concerns. We represent parents and guardians throughout any investigations and related legal matters, and ensure that the best interests of their children are protected.
The Involvement of the Children’s Aid Society
Child Protection under the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) is triggered when a Child Protection Agency, such as the Children’s Aid Society, believes that a child either is, or may be, at the risk of harm at the hands of their current caregivers.
There are three ways in which a Children’s Aid Society may become involved with a family:
Voluntary Service Agreements
A family may be given an option to work with a Children’s Aid Society on a voluntary basis.
In such an arrangement, the parties enter into a voluntary service contract which sets out what each party will do to address the parenting concerns. The Children’s Aid Society will monitor the family but the parties will go to court and there will be no Court order. The contract will run until it expires or until the parties agree otherwise.
If the family fails to comply with the contract the next step is for the Children’s Aid Society to seek the assistance of the Court and start a formal Child Protection Application.
If a Court determines that a child is at risk and requires monitoring by a Children’s Aid Society, the Court can order that the child be placed with, or returned to, a parent or other adult for between three and twelve months, while a Children’s Aid Society supervises the family.
This can be done without removing a child from their home. Services such as counseling or having a third party/relative reside with the family during the terms of the order might also be ordered.
Society Wardship and Crown Wardship
The Children’s Aid Society will remove a child from a family home if they believe there are serious risks of harm which cannot be addressed through a supervision order. Sadly, this often involves drug or alcohol problems or evidence of physical or sexual abuse of a child by someone in the home.
An apprehension may take place without a warrant in an emergency situation but the Children’s Aid Society or other agency involved in the matter must have the case before a judge within five days of the removal.
In some instances, a child may be placed into temporary foster care while a parent/caregiver works with the Children’s Aid Society to address the issues. Once the Court is satisfied that the parent/caregiver has adequately addressed these concerns and that there is no further risk of harm, the Court may consider placing the child back with the parent/caregiver.
In other cases, it may be found the parent/caregiver and cannot provide for the child and so the Court may order he or she be made a Crown Ward permanently. In those cases, the parent could lose all rights to the child though each case is different and as always, based upon the needs of a child.
Compassionate and Trusted Family Lawyers Helping Families in Matters Involving a Children’s Aid Society is Involved
If you are a parent or guardian and have been contacted by the Children’s Aid Society with respect to your child or a child in your care, contact the knowledgeable family lawyers at Borden Family Law as soon as possible. We have helped families in Oshawa, Ajax, Brooklin, and surrounding areas to protect themselves and their relationships with their children and wards. To see how we can help you resolve your issue, call us at 905-576-6090 or contact us online. Ask about our flat fees.