By Noel da Silva
Cooperating with the Children’s Aid Society is the best course of action for relatives and the child, says Noel da Silva, in a brief analysis of the role of the agency
People have said in reference to almost any government agency that becomes involved in a legal matter, especially a court case, that they are the scary monster in the room. It is true that when you have the CRA, The Office of the Children’s lawyer, the Police, or the Public Trustee involved that the problems caused clearly complicate matters and escalate legal fees.
Consider however the opposite view.
I was recently asked a question about the Children’s Aid Society, where a grandparent was caring for their grandchild. The parent who had born the baby had a history of emotional, health and behavioural problems. The baby’s other natural parent had serious problems as well.
The problems of the parents came to the attention of the police. They in turn must have notified the Children’s Aid Society. It may have been another professional or agency that did so.
When the Children’s Aid Society intervened, they needed a place that was a safe haven for the child. They normally turn to the child’s family as the preferred resource for safe placement. The Society cannot after all, place all the children they are monitoring or trying to keep safe, in foster homes. There are not enough such approved homes and the Society does not have an unlimited budget.
What inevitably happens is that the family member, be it a grandparent, aunt or uncle, sister or brother, falls in love with the baby. It seems that human babies have the capacity to somehow make that happen. Is it built into our genes? I suspect so.
So the moral of the story is that when the Children’s Aid Society comes to rescue and protect a child that they as advocate for the child, become the protector of the relative actually caring for the child.
If and when they bring a court application and obtain an order placing the child in the relatives care the case for interim and permanent custody of the child with that relative becomes that much stronger. The longer the natural parent or parents continue to have problems the better the case for permanent custody by the relative becomes.
The takeaway is that cooperation with the Society, no matter how much their power scares you, may be the best course of action for the love struck relative and the child.
This blog was not sponsored by any government agency. It was not shown to nor was it approved by the workers of our local Children’s Aid Society.
Noel da Silva is a Partner at Simmons da Silva LLP
Telephone: 905-457-1660 ext 229
Disclaimer: This article is only intended for information purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal advice