Children Aid Societies in Ontario may apprehend a child if they form the belief that a child maybe require protection from their parents or caregivers because of physical or emotional abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, mental issues, neglect issues or domestic violence issues. A society should only apprehend if they form the view that their concerns cannot be worked out while the child remains in the home.
Once a child is apprehended, the respondent parents or caregivers are required to provide a plan of care to address the Society’s concerns. A plan of care should consider a placement with another relative or family known to the respondent parents if a return to the parent is not feasible. The society may also consider a plan of care where a supervisor lives with the family or monitors the family while the parents address the concerns of the society.
It is critical to get legal representation and know your rights because there are statutory timelines that are important to understand. The longer a child remains in the care of the Society then the more likely it is that the Society will be asking the court to consider a permanent placement of the child known as a “Crown Wardship” as opposed to a “Society Wardship” which is a temporary Society involvement.
Child protection matters are often very emotional and stressful because it may result in the permanent separation between the parents and the children. We can assist you by: ‘
- Preparing and presenting a plan of care
- Responding to the allegations of the Society
- Addressing the concerns of the Society
- Assisting in setting up supports from the community and community providers
- Keeping track of timelines and marshaling a reunification of the family
- Preparing briefs and attending at conferences
- Preparing and arguing motions for placement or increased access
- Making disclosure requests for documents and notes of Society workers
- Preparing and representing you at trial