In the latest episode of Real Estate 101: The Home Buying & Selling Show Family Lawyer John Schuman discusses Children’s Aid Society, it’s role, powers and what parents can do if CAS gets involved.
What is the Role of Children’s Aid Society?
The Children’s Aid Society has several roles, but the most important one is child protection and welfare. The organization is primarily concerned with ensuring that children are safe and does this mostly in regards to children with parents or in the care of guardians.
In addition, the Children’s Aid Society can also investigate daycare, but not child welfare schools as that it under the Ministry of Education’s jurisdiction.
The CAS does not monitor children, but rather rely on tips from professionals working with children. In other words, if someone from the Children’s Aid Society knocks on your door it’s probably because someone tipped them off.
What Power does the Children’s Aid Society Have?
The CAS has a lot of power when it comes to protecting children. In fact, in some cases they have more power than even the police.
For instance the Children’s Aid Society can:
- Interview people to find out if the child is safe or not
- Look at any documents about a child without a court order
- Speak to children without the parents consent
- Take the child into foster care without the judge’s permission if the CAS worker believes the child is in imminent danger
- Enter and search a private property when taking a child
What Can Parents do if the Children’s Aid Society is Investigating Them?
The most important thing parents should do if the CAS is investigating them is to be cooperative. The parents should let the CAS worker speak with their kids and allow them to see any documents regarding the child as well as provide any information about it.
Making a good first impression with the Children’s Aid Society is important as being uncooperative could lead to the CAS becoming suspicious and believing the child might be in danger.
Parents shouldn’t try to stop CAS workers from speaking with their children or coax the children into lying or omitting anything. The CAS workers are trained in speaking with children and if they pick up the child is hiding something it will only get worse for the parent.
What Parents Shouldn’t do When Dealing with CAS?
However, at the same time, you do have a right not to incriminate yourself so if the CAS worker is asking questions about anything that can lead to that, you should have a lawyer present at your side.
Another thing you shouldn’t do when dealing with CAS is to sign an agreement without first consulting a lawyer about this. These are legal and biding documents that give even more power to the Children’s Aid Society than it had before.
You should also speak with a lawyer at once if the Children’s Aid Society apprehends your child. The CAS must have the case in court within five days so it is vital to talk to a lawyer and prepare your case quickly.
Watch this episode to learn more about the Children’s Aid Society of Ontario.
For more information on family law contact:
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