You may encounter a situation where concerns about your child’s well-being and safety are raised, and your family’s ability to care for your child is under scrutiny.
In these cases, a child protection agency, namely Children’s Aid Societies (or family and child services) in Ontario, may intervene to assess the situation and start a Court application against the parents or the caregivers to remove the child or children from their care, if necessary. The child protection services in Ontario are governed by the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, 2017.
Once Children’s Aid Societies (CAS) initiates a Court application, you will be served with the application paper. Make sure to mark the date of the Court hearing included in the application paper and attend the hearing. You have 30 days from when you are served with the application paper to serve and file Answer and Plan of Care. If you do not file an answer and Plan of Care, the Court may make a decision without hearing your side of the story.
At the initial hearing, the Court may determine who should have the custody of the child or the children during the Court proceeding. Depending on the outcome, CAS may be granted custody of the child or the children. The Court may also order the Office of the Children’s Lawyer to provide legal counsel for the child or the children.
Once the Court reaches a decision, you can appeal the child protection order if you disagree with the terms of the order. Depending on which court issued the order, the Appellate Court will differ. You must keep in mind that there is a deadline to appeal. If you miss the deadline, your appeal may be dismissed. You will need assistance from a lawyer to determine if you require to leave to appeal (or permission from the Court to appeal) when the deadline is to appeal, and what procedures you have to follow.
At Juzkiw Law Firm, we can help minimize your stress from dealing with child protection and the Court proceedings, which involve sensitive family matters. Contact Juzkiw Law Firm at 416-221-2221 for more details.