Child Protection Law
Representing the Ministry of Children and Family Development
When a child is removed from a parent or caregiver by a social worker who works for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (“Ministry”), a court process begins. If you are a parent whose children have been removed, it is helpful to have an experienced child protection lawyer help you deal with the court process and to navigate the process of working with the Ministry toward having your children returned to your care. It is often possible to resolve child protection matters outside of the court process through the use of mediation and other processes, including discussions and meetings with the social worker involved in your file.
When a child is in foster care and a friend, family member or community member is interested in caring for the child, permanently or temporarily while the parent is working with the Ministry, there are routes that can be taken through the Child, Family and Community Service Act, the child protection legislation, and/or the Family Law Act. If you are a person, either a family member or friend, who wishes to care for a child who is currently in foster care, you will often find that the Ministry will be supportive of such an arrangement. You can contact the social worker directly or retain an experienced child protection lawyer to assist you in navigating this process.
When an Indigenous child is removed from his/her parents, the designated representative of the child’s First Nation or Indigenous community (“Band”) is entitled to be a party to the court process, and to have counsel represent the Band in the child protection court proceedings.