What is an Answer and Plan of Care in my child protection case?

1. Get legal help

If the (CAS) has started a , try and talk to a lawyer who has worked on child protection cases right away.

Child protection cases are complicated and follow strict deadlines.  

Try and find a lawyer who:

  • has experience with child protection cases
  • accepts legal aid certificates, if you have one or might be able to get one

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 services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you might be able to find legal help in other places.  You don't need a lawyer to go to court or reply to CAS, but it is best to get one.

In some situations, a parent has the right to have the government pay for a lawyer. This is to make sure that their court case with the CAS is fair. In those situations, a court can order the government to pay for that parent's lawyer through Legal Aid Ontario. This doesn't happen in most cases.

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