Where there is a perceived threat to the health, safety or well being of a child, the Children's Aid Society (CAS) has the legal right to apprehend a child - ie. remove the child from the care of the parent or other guardian. If you are concerned about a possible apprehension, read the guidelines for apprehension management below and immediately contact a lawyer to obtain further guidance.
There is a presumption that a successful party is entitled to the costs of a motion, enforcement, case or appeal (Ontario Family Law Rules, R. 24(1)). There is, however, no such presumption for costs in a child protection case (Rule 24(2)). Does that mean that a successful parent can never obtain a costs order against a children's aid society? Let us delve a little further.
Child welfare agencies have a fairly light onus on them when it comes to analyzing whether or not they were justified in effecting an apprehension of children from their parents' care. (But at least there is some degree of onus on them.) Despite the fairly easy test that they must pass, there are still some occasions where the courts will step in and sanction a children's aid society. Cree Nation and Family Caring Agency v. L.(R.) is thankfully one of those cases.
In part 1 of this blog post, I wrote: "Justice J. deP. Wright has issued a brave appeal decision: R.(C) v. C.A.S. of the District of Thunder Bay (Jan. 30, 2013). He criticizes courts and agencies that run roughshod over the procedural rights of parents." Let's examine some different ideas to protect parents' procedural rights and how we might reform the system.
Has a "Summary Judgment" motion in an Ontario family court resulted in you losing your child to the Children's Aid? Are you now facing a summary judgment motion? The increasing frequency of using this draconian and patently unfair tool to deprive children of their parents in these sorts of child custody cases has long troubled me. It's gratifying to see that at least one Ontario Superior Court Judge seems to agree with me.
Child custody cases are heart wrenching. Child custody cases with child protection authorities can be even worse. Do you know that kids were abused in native residential schools? Federal authorities and religious institutions are paying compensation for their negligent and even malevolent treatment foisted upon native children decades ago. With respect to overgrasping and overreaching children protection authorities (children's aid societies), how will history judge their actions?