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Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside
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Understanding the Children's Aid Society Process - From the Inside

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Recorded on January 23, 2013 - This webinar in the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) series covers the basics of how the Children's Aid Society (CAS) system works, to give service providers and …

Recorded on January 23, 2013 - This webinar in the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) series covers the basics of how the Children's Aid Society (CAS) system works, to give service providers and families an understanding of how they may take part in the process. For this discussion, METRAC's Legal Director, Tamar Witelson, is joined by Vicky Lowrey, a Senior Service Manager at the Children's Aid Society of Peel Region.
Watch the webinar at:
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/webinar/understanding-childrens-aid-society-process-inside

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  • 1. Understanding the Children’s Aid Society Process – From the Inside www.onefamilylaw.ca Society Process – From the Inside January 23, 2013 23/01/2013 1 Tamar Witelson, Legal Director, METRAC Vicky Lowrey, Peel Children’s Aid Society Funded by: Funded by:
  • 2. METRAC METRAC, the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children works to end violence against women, youth and children a not-for-profit, community-based organization www.metrac.org METRAC’s Community Justice Program provides accessible legal information and education for women andprovides accessible legal information and education for women and service providers focuses on law that affects women, from diverse backgrounds, especially those experiencing violence or abuse FLEW, Family Law Education for Women in Ontario provides information on women’s rights and options under Ontario family law in 14 languages, accessible formats, online and in print www.onefamilylaw.ca 23/01/2013 2
  • 3. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Vicky Lowrey Senior Manager, Peel Children’s Aid Society 23/01/2013 3
  • 4. Introduction 23/01/2013 4
  • 5. Topics to be Covered 1. Overview – Child and Family Services Act 2. Children’s Aid Societies 3. Definition: Child in Need of Protection 4. Duty to Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect 5. CAS Preliminary Investigation5. CAS Preliminary Investigation 6. Voluntary Services 7. Involuntary Intervention 8. Additional Resources Information is accurate as of January 23, 2013 23/01/2013 5
  • 6. Overview Child and Family Services Act 23/01/2013 6
  • 7. Overview Child and Family Services Act • Ontario: Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER C.11 • Paramount Purpose of the CFSA: “to promote the best interests, protection and well being of children” 23/01/2013 7
  • 8. Overview Child and Family Services Act • Additional Purposes of CFSA: Give support to the family unit Aim for consent Consider least disruptive action Respect culture and religion, whenever possible when providing service Recognize Indian and native culture, heritage, traditions and the concept of the extended family when working with Aboriginal children and families 23/01/2013 8
  • 9. Children’s Aid Societies 23/01/2013 9
  • 10. Children’s Aid Societies • Children’s Aid Societies provide child protection services required under the CFSA • 47 CAS’s across Ontario, including: 6 Aboriginal6 Aboriginal 2 Catholic 1 Jewish • Government funded, non-profit • community-run by local Board of Directors 23/01/2013 10
  • 11. Children’s Aid Societies • Investigate, and protect if child is in need of protection • Provide guidance and counseling to families for the protection of children • care for children in CAS care • Supervise children under CAS supervision, including establishing foster care • Place children for adoption 23/01/2013 11
  • 12. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection” 23/01/2013 12
  • 13. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection" • “Child” means a person who is under 16 years old • “in need of protection” in cases of: (adapted from CFSA, s. 37) A. Physical abuse Child is at risk or suffers physical harm by a person having charge of the child Includes failure to adequately protect from abuse 23/01/2013 13
  • 14. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection" B. Sexual abuse Child at risk or has been sexually molested or exploited, by anyone Includes when person having charge of child knows or should know, and fails to protect child from sexual abuse 23/01/2013 14
  • 15. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection" C. Emotional Abuse Child at risk or suffers emotional harm, reasonably believed to be caused by person having charge of child Includes failure to try to get treatment for emotional harmharm Emotional harm may be expressed as: o Serious anxiety o Depression o Withdrawal o Self-destructive/aggressive behaviour o Delayed development Includes exposure to domestic violence 23/01/2013 15
  • 16. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection" D.Neglect Child at risk or harmed by failure of person having charge of child to adequately protect, care for and provide for a child Includes when child has a medical, mental, emotional or developmental condition and person having charge does not provide required services or treatment 23/01/2013 16
  • 17. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection" E.Abandonment or Separation Child has been abandoned or parent is dead or unavailable and has not made arrangements for the child’s custody and carecare Includes when parent is unable or unwilling to resume care of a child following a residential placement 23/01/2013 17
  • 18. Definition: “Child in Need of Protection" F. Caregiver’s Incapacity Caregiver has shown characteristics that indicate the child would be at risk of harm Characteristics may include: History of abusing or neglecting a childoHistory of abusing or neglecting a child oInability to protect a child from harm oDrug abuse or limited caregiving skills Intervention may occur without evidence of harm to a child or apparent need of intervention 23/01/2013 18
  • 19. Definition: Child in Need of Protection G. Child is less than 12 years old in severe circumstances: Has killed or seriously injured a person, or caused serious damage to property, and Services are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and Person who has charge of child does not or is unable to provide for services 23/01/2013 19
  • 20. Definition: Child in Need of Protection G. Child is less than 12 years old in severe circumstances: Has injured a person or damaged property more than once, andmore than once, and Person having charge of the child encouraged the behaviour or failed to adequately supervise the child 23/01/2013 20
  • 21. Duty to Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect 23/01/2013 21
  • 22. Duty to Report (CFSA, s. 72) • Every person has a duty to report directly to a CAS a reasonable suspicion that a child is or may be exposed to abuse or neglect • Child is or appears to be under 16 years • The report must provide the information on which the suspicion is based • The duty to report is ongoing, for every occurrence where a reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect arises 23/01/2013 22
  • 23. Duty to Report • Duty to report applies to every person who performs professional or official duties with respect to children • Failure to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect when information was obtained in the course of professional/official duties is an offence punishable by fine up to $1,000 23/01/2013 23
  • 24. Duty to Report • A person who performs professional or official duties with respect to children includes: Health care: doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists Education and counselling: teachers, principals,Education and counselling: teachers, principals, daycare staff, social workers, youth and recreation workers Religious officials and clergy members Mediators and arbitrators 23/01/2013 24
  • 25. Duty to Report • Lawyers have a duty to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect obtained in the course of legal duties • No duty to report privileged information between a lawyer and clientbetween a lawyer and client • Lawyer may disclose where he/she believes there is imminent risk of serious bodily or psychological harm to an identifiable person 23/01/2013 25
  • 26. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Vicky Lowrey Senior Manager, Peel Children’s Aid Society 23/01/2013 26
  • 27. CAS Preliminary Investigation 23/01/2013 27
  • 28. CAS Preliminary Investigation • Child protection worker takes report, including: Details about the cause for concern Information about the child and family Knowledge of family’s support network All calls screened for domestic violence 23/01/2013 28
  • 29. CAS Preliminary Investigation • CAS may conclude: Contact with child’s family is not necessary Caller and family should be referred to a community service agency Child protection worker will meet with child and family within 7 days to assess child’s safety Extremely severe case: child protection worker meets with child and family within 12 hours • CAS can interview child without parental consent 23/01/2013 29
  • 30. CAS Preliminary Investigation • CAS must determine: Would a Court find this child to be in need of protection? What is the least disruptive action that will protect the child?the child? • CAS must regularly consult with Indian band or native community about action or services regarding an Indian or native child (CFSA, s. 213) 23/01/2013 30
  • 31. Voluntary Services 23/01/2013 31
  • 32. Voluntary Services • Where CAS determines child is in need of protection: Parents may voluntarily agree to services, including: oIn-home visitsoIn-home visits oCounselling and supportive services to parents and child oChild goes to temporary alternate care with: • Another family member (called Kinship Service) • A residential service, such as group or foster home 23/01/2013 32
  • 33. Voluntary Services • Children 16 years or older must consent to services, unless by Court Order • For children 12 years and older: Child must consent to counselling; no other consentChild must consent to counselling; no other consent required For children under 16, child will be told it is desirable to involve parent(s) 23/01/2013 33
  • 34. Voluntary Services • Temporary Care Agreements Person with custody who is temporarily unable to care for child may make an agreement for CAS care and custody of child under 16 years Child between 12-15 years must agree CAS must be satisfied there is no less disruptive action 23/01/2013 34
  • 35. Voluntary Services • Temporary Care Agreements must be in writing cannot be more than six months can be extended for up to 12 months, timecan be extended for up to 12 months, time in CAS care is cumulative A party can terminate an agreement at any time with notice 23/01/2013 35
  • 36. Involuntary Intervention 23/01/2013 36
  • 37. Involuntary Intervention • When CAS meets child and family, full assessment must be complete within 30 days • child protection worker may determine child is in need of protection: In home under supervision orderIn home under supervision order In a safe environment outside of home oWill apprehend child • May seek warrant • In emergency, without warrant oMay call police to assist 23/01/2013 37
  • 38. Involuntary Intervention • If child apprehended: CAS may return child to his/her home Otherwise, Child Protection Hearing must be held within 5 days At Child Protection HearingAt Child Protection Hearing oCAS presents evidence in Court to support why child should remain in CAS care oParents have right to participate, with a lawyer, and give evidence in Court oAnyone who has continuously cared for child 6 months before hearing may make submissions in Court, with a lawyer 23/01/2013 38
  • 39. Involuntary Intervention • At Child Protection Hearing: Child may have independent legal representation Child 12 years and older may attend hearing, unless Court orders otherwise because theunless Court orders otherwise because the child would suffer emotional harm Child under 12 will not attend, unless Court orders child may attend because child: ois capable of understanding the hearing, and owill not suffer emotional harm 23/01/2013 39
  • 40. Involuntary Intervention • Child Protection Hearing (after apprehension) – First appearance happens within 5 days – Final hearing must occur within 120 days – Issues to be determined:– Issues to be determined: • Is child in need of protection • Should child have been apprehended • Temporary custody and care of child during proceedings • Order for best interests of child 23/01/2013 40
  • 41. Involuntary Intervention • Possible Court Orders when child in need of protection: 1. Supervision Order Child in care of parent or another personChild in care of parent or another person Care of child supervised by CAS For minimum 3 months For maximum 12 months 23/01/2013 41
  • 42. Involuntary Intervention • Possible Court Orders when child in need of protection: 2. Society Wardship Child in temporary care in place of safety o Kinship care with family acting like foster home o Foster homeo Foster home o Group home For maximum 12 months Possible extension to maximum 24 months for child 6 to 17 years Time in care is cumulative 23/01/2013 42
  • 43. Involuntary Intervention • Possible Court Orders when child in need of protection: 3. Crown Wardship Child in permanent care in place of safetyChild in permanent care in place of safety CAS has guardianship of child With or without parent access CAS will consider plan for permanency which may include adoption 23/01/2013 43
  • 44. Involuntary Intervention • Permanency Planning “to promote the best interests, protection and well being of children” Consider who is important in child’s lifeConsider who is important in child’s life Family Friends Community Support connection to culture and heritage 23/01/2013 44
  • 45. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Vicky Lowrey Senior Manager, Peel Children’s Aid Society 23/01/2013 45
  • 46. Additional Resources 23/01/2013 46
  • 47. Additional Resources • Ministry of the Attorney General child protection, court process, forms www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/divorce/child_protection • Ministry of Children and Youth Services role of Children’s Aid Societiesrole of Children’s Aid Societies www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/childrensaid/childrensaidsoci eties/index.aspx • Ministry of Children and Youth Services duty to report child abuse/neglect www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/documents/topics/childrensaid/Repo rtingchildabuseandneglect.pdf 23/01/2013 47
  • 48. Additional Resources • Peel Children’s Aid Society provides multi-language information www.peelcas.org/index.asp • Ontario Association of Children’s Aid SocietiesSocieties www.oacas.org/childwelfare/locate.htm • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) Reporting child abuse www.settlement.org/sys/faqs_detail.asp?faq_id=4001345 23/01/2013 48
  • 49. Additional Resources • Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) www.onefamilylaw.ca booklet on Child Protection and Family Law www.onefamilylaw.ca/doc/FLEW_legal_EN_02.pdf • Ontario Women’s Justice Network www.owjn.org • Ministry of Children and Youth Services Child Protection Standards in Ontario www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/childrensaid/childprotectionstanda rds.aspx 23/01/2013 49

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