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How do I get access to see my child after CAS takes them?

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How do I get access to see my child after CAS takes them?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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How do I get access to see my child after CAS takes them?
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Reviewed: 
August 31, 2018
Answer

A Children's Aid Society (CAS) worker can enter your home, by force if necessary, to search for and take your child away from your home. It's important to get legal help right away if this happens.

After your child is taken from your home, you usually have the right to see your child before you have a child protection hearing or trial. This is called access.

If you're asking for access after your child protection hearing has ended, see the question, "What happens at a child protection hearing or trial?"

It's very important to get access to your child so that you can stay in touch with them. This lets your child know you think of them and want to be with them. And it shows CAS and the court that you care for your child and want to keep in contact with them.

Ask the CAS worker for access when your child is being taken away. You can also call and ask them after your child is taken.

Whether or not CAS gives you access, you should also ask the court to make an order that allows you to visit your child. You can do this in person at your first court date or in writing. .

You may only get supervised access to your child. This means that a CAS worker or another person watches when you visit with your child. Visits usually happen at a CAS office.

How much time you get to spend with your child depends on their situation. For example, if your child is in school, CAS may schedule your visits after school or on a weekend. If your child is placed in a foster home or group home that is far away, the visits might be less often. If your child is a baby or toddler, your visits may be 2 or 3 times a week for short periods.

Even if the court allows you to visit your child, CAS may cancel a visit if your child is sick or if the weather is bad and it isn't safe to travel. 

Who else can get access

Other people can also ask for access to your child while they're in the care of CAS. For example, your child's sibling or a person from your child's band or First Nations, Inuk, or Métis community can ask for access.

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