Child Protection is unlike any other area of family law. The decisions made in the Child Protection context are of similar or even greater in importance and impact to those made in criminal courts. Of note, there is no presumption of innocence, no standard of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the people most affected are innocent children. The amount of anxiety and disruption that families experience when engaged with a children’s aid Society is beyond comparison.
While one mandate of the Children’s Aid Societies is to help and guide parents and families, they are also tasked with investigating and judging families. Depending on the what the Society investigation concludes regarding the safety of your children and your ability to parent, the Society has a number of options.
In less serious cases, the Society will first attempt to engage with the family on a voluntary basis to improve the wellbeing of the children. In more serious cases, the Society can commence court proceedings. At this point, children are often removed from the family pending the outcome of court proceedings. In the worst-case scenario, children can be permanently removed from their parent’s custody. If your child has been apprehended by the Society, it is crucially important to hire a lawyer immediately as managing the early days following apprehension are critically important.
The lawyers at Nussbaum Family Law deeply believe that families and parents need strong legal representation throughout every stage of a child protection proceeding. Our lawyers work closely with parents, families, and community members to protect children and to ensure that children remain with their families.
Given the stakes, it is crucial to hire a lawyer as soon as possible once a Children’s Aid Society becomes involved in your family’s life. A parent or family alone against the system is at a massive disadvantage in term of resources, knowledge, and power. The decisions and actions you take will likely have enormous and life changing consequences for you and your children.