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What happens at a status review in my child protection case?
A status review is when the court reviews how your child is doing after a court order was made at a:
- child protection hearing, or
- previous status review.
The party who asks for the status review is asking the court to look at what's happened since the last court order and decide what should happen with the child now. For example, it could make an order for interim society care.
Applying for a status review starts a new court process.
Anyone asking for a status review usually uses Form 8B – Application (Child Protection and Status Review). But if the child is in extended society care, they use Form 8B.1: Application (Status Review for Child in Extended Society Care and Child Formerly in Extended Society Care).
While you prepare for a status review hearing, your child usually stays with whoever they were placed with by the last court order. The only time the court orders a change to who cares for the child, is if it's in the best interests of the child. It would do this at a temporary care and custody hearing.
A status review is not the same thing as an appeal. An appeal is when a person disagrees with a judge's order and wants another judge to review it to see if the first judge made a mistake during the case.
At a status review, the court isn't reviewing the order because it thinks it might be wrong. It's doing a new review of the child's situation since the last order.
Talk to a lawyer
You should talk to a lawyer who can give you advice about what happens at a hearing and can help you through the process.
The Ontario Association of Child Protection Lawyers has a list of members. These are lawyers who focus on child protection cases.
You can apply for a legal aid certificate to get Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to pay for your lawyer. Your income must be low enough for you to qualify.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers offer "unbundled" or "limited scope" services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you might be able to find legal help in other places.