Family Law (Children)


CHILD PROTECTION LAW IN ONTARIO


A BRIEF SUMMARY



In Ontario, the Child and Family Services Act is the statute that governs child protection law. It is a comprehensive code for the protection of children and it describes in detail the rights and responsibilities of children, parents and the Children’s Aid Society.


In Dufferin County, the Children’s Aid Society is known in the community as Dufferin Child and Family Services. The Agency is legally obliged to protect the children within its jurisdiction and offers a variety of supportive services and means of assistance for children and families.


In some circumstances, children and families seek the support of the Society on a voluntary basis.


In other circumstances, the Society’s intervention is not voluntary and is governed by precise legal requirements, as described in the statute and in the Family Court Rules.


When child protection legal proceedings are necessary, in Dufferin County, these matters are addressed by the Ontario Court of Justice in Orangeville. There are specific documents that have to be prepared and exchanged by the Children’s Aid Society and the parents.


If you become involved in a child protection legal proceeding, it is imperative that you obtain legal advice, from a lawyer of your own choosing, as soon as possible. There are a number of lawyers in Dufferin County, with expertise in this area, who would be pleased to assist you.


Communication and cooperative planning is essential in child protection law, as the best interests of the children are paramount. In these situations, it is important for you to keep in close contact with your lawyer, your social worker, and the Court, at all times.