CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY CASES
The Child and Family Services Act is an Ontario Legislation that governs how child protection is regulated in the Province. There are numerous Children’s Aid Society’s across the province, representing different regions and cultures. For example, there is a Peel Children’s Aid Society, a Toronto Children’s Aid Society, a Halton Children’s Aid Society and a Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto or a Jewish Child and Family Services Agency or a Native Child and Family Services agency. Depending on where one lives and what your cultural or religious background is, will depend which agency and courthouse one would fall under should they find themselves entangled in such a case.
Children’s Aid Society cases otherwise known as CAS cases or Child Protection are notoriously difficult cases. All the CAS agencies have the power to apprehend children and not have to justify the apprehension with a court of law for up to 5 days after the apprehension. The safety and wellbeing of children is at stake and children are deemed to be the most vulnerable people in our society.
As a result, many legal powers are afforded to CAS cases. For example, hearsay evidence otherwise inadmissible in a criminal trial, is admissible (with certain exceptions) in a CAS case. Past history of a parent is out on the table, on full display. Medical records can also become relevant and admissible.
CAS cases are usually zero sum cases whereby either the parent(s) will be able to demonstrate within a certain time frame that they are capable of parenting or if not have an alternative plan for the children (i.e., Kin or other family members) or the children can become Crown Wards for the purpose of adoption. The stakes in these cases are extremely high.
Should the CAS want to talk to you or be at your doorstep, contact Mr. Baratz or another experienced family lawyer immediately to discuss your matter. These cases can be very time sensitive and decisions need to be made as soon as possible. The decisions and actions a parent takes early on in their CAS case can seriously impact the case in either direction.