4. Get the judge's decision

What happens at a child protection hearing or trial?
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4. Get the judge's decision

The judge can make a decision right at the end of the trial, or sometime later. When a judge decides later, it is called reserving judgment. They can take weeks or months to decide.

You may need to come back to court for the decision or you may be told about it in writing.

Court orders

If the judge finds your child is in need of protection, they will usually make one of the following orders:

  • Supervision order: This means your child is returned to your care, or placed with another parent or caregiver, and CAS supervises the care for your child. This order can include conditions. For example, the condition that you are tested for drugs regularly. A supervision order can be for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months.
  • Interim society care: This means your child is placed in the care and custody of CAS. CAS can place your child in foster care or in a group home. This order can last for a maximum of 12 months.
  • Interim society care followed by supervision: This means your child is placed in the care and custody of CAS and then returned to your care or the care of the other parent or caregiver under a supervision order. This order can last for a maximum of 12 months.
  • Extended society care: This means your child is placed in the care of CAS with no end date. Your child is placed in foster care or in a group home, and may be adopted. Extended society care lasts until any of the following happen:
    • the court reviews the case,
    • the child turns 18,
    • the child marries, or
    • the child is adopted

    It may be possible to get an openness order if your child is adopted.

  • Custody order: The court may also decide that it's in the child's best interests to be in the custody of one or more persons. For example, it might decide to award custody to a grandparent who proposed a plan of care and agrees to have custody of the child.
Reviewed: October 31, 2018

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