Services in Ontario - Child abuse and neglect

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Family Law Services

Website

http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/typesofhelp.asp

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1‑800‑668‑8258

During the COVID-19 situation, LAO is offering more telephone support. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

LAO has services for people with low incomes who have family law problems. This includes:

  • a free summary advice line that can give you up to 20 minutes of information and general advice about your family law matter
  • family duty counsel who can give you free legal advice if you don’t have a lawyer on the day of your hearing
  • a legal aid certificate program if you have a low income and if your legal issue is one that LAO covers

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Legal aid certificates

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/will-legal-aid-pay-for-my-lawyer/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

If you get a legal aid certificate, this means that LAO pays a lawyer to work for you. To get a certificate you must show that you have a low income by giving information about your income, property, and savings.

And, your legal issue must be one that LAO covers. You may get a certificate for some legal issues about:

  • domestic violence
  • family law
  • criminal law
  • immigration law
  • refugee law

To apply for a legal aid certificate:

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.

If you can’t wait for a legal representative to call you back, or if you don’t have a call-back number, email lsrs@lso.ca. Or, if you’re in crisis or in custody, call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Ontario Legal Information Centre

Website

https://www.centreinfojuridique.ca/en/

Contact Information

Phone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462

The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone in Ontario by telephone or in person at their Ottawa office in any area of law in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back.

Law Society of Ontario – Lawyer and Paralegal Directory

The directory lists all lawyers and paralegals licensed to give legal services in Ontario. You can search by name, address or postal code, language, and area of law. You can also search for services offered in French and for unbundled services.

The Advice and Settlement Counsel (ASC)

The Advice and Settlement Counsel (ASC) provides people who don’t have a lawyer with 1 hour of advice with a lawyer for $200 plus HST. The service can help you:

  • prepare for a court attendance, case conference, or motion
  • negotiate consents when both parties are present
  • give advice about potential settlements, drafting agreements, and court procedures
  • give advice on a consent you have negotiated with a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) or at mediation, court conference, or motion
  • prepare “to do” lists so that you understand what steps need to be taken next

To use the ASC, you can check their calendar to see which lawyers are available. All lawyers spend at least 50% of their practice in family law and have at least 5 years experience. You will also be required to complete a form that confirms your identity, sign a consent, pay the fee, and sign a retainer agreement that explains the service you are getting. You will be charged extra for any time over 1 hour.

JusticeNet

Website

http://www.justicenet.ca

Contact Information

Phone 416-479-0551 Toll-free 1-866-919-3219

JusticeNet helps people find a legal professional if their income is too high to get legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they refer you to an online directory of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who provide help at reduced rates.

JusticeNet is a non-profit organization. You must register and pay a fee to use the website. They may return the fee if you don’t find a professional to work with.

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

Website

http://www.oacas.org

Contact Information

Phone 416-987-7725 Toll-free 1-800-718-1797

The association has a list of all Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario that can help you find your local office. Children’s Aid Societies have a legal duty to look into every report of a child who is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed.

First Nations Child and Family Service Agencies

Website

https://fncaringsociety.com/agencies

Contact Information

Phone 613-230-5885

This website has a directory you can use to find contact information for First Nations child and family service agencies in Canada. 

Ontario Ombudsman

Website

https://www.ombudsman.on.ca/have-a-complaint/who-we-oversee

Contact Information

Phone 416-586-3300 Toll-free 1-800-263-1830
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