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What if CAS wants to talk to me or my child?

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What if CAS wants to talk to me or my child?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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What if CAS wants to talk to me or my child?
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Reviewed: 
August 31, 2018
Answer

A worker from a Children's Aid Society (CAS) might want to talk to you or your child if someone has told them that they have concerns about your child.

Talk to you

A CAS worker might phone you to plan a meeting, or show up at your door. They don't have to tell you they're coming or make an appointment to see you.

The CAS worker might tell you who was concerned about your child, but they don't have to. The person that contacted CAS doesn't have to give their name.

Try to stay calm when you talk to the CAS worker. You can ask if you can have someone to support you when you talk to them. For example, a friend, neighbour, religious leader, or someone who represents your band.

You should also try to speak to a lawyer who has worked on child protection cases as soon as possible. They can give you advice about what might happen and can help you through the process.

Talk to your child

The CAS worker is allowed to talk to your child. They don't need your permission. The CAS worker usually talks to you and your child separately.

If you don't let the CAS worker talk to your child at home, they can go to your child's school to talk to your child.

Come into your home

In most cases, CAS must get your permission to enter your home. It's sometimes a good idea to let them in. They might think you're trying to hide something if you don't let them in.

Sometimes CAS has a warrant that allows them to enter your home. A warrant is a court order that allows CAS to enter your home to remove your child from your care.

In some cases, CAS can enter your home by force. They can do this without a warrant if they think your child is at an immediate risk of harm and needs to be protected. They can bring the police to help them.

If CAS is worried your child might be harmed, they might take your child while they look more closely at the situation. CAS can take your child from any place, for example, your home or your child's school, daycare, or a hospital. This is called taking a child to a place of safety.

If you speak another language

If you or your child find it difficult to understand or speak English, tell the CAS worker. Ask for an interpreter who speaks your language and English. If CAS doesn't find one, you should try to find an interpreter or someone who can help translate as soon as possible.

You and your child might have a right to services in French. You can ask the CAS worker if French language services are available.

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