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

5. Get your documents and update your Answer and Plan of Care

You usually need to and other documents around the same time as your Answer and Plan of Care. The documents you need to fill out depend on the type of court date you have next.

Temporary care and custody hearing

Often, the next court date is a temporary care and custody hearing. This is where the court decides what should happen to your child while your case is still going on.

You usually don't get a lot of time to prepare your documents for this hearing. This is because a temporary care and custody hearing is supposed to be held within 35 days of the CAS starting the court case. Sometimes this deadline gets extended.

There are steps you need to take to prepare for a temporary care and custody hearing. For example, you need to serve and file a:

Conference

A conference is when you and a (CAS) go to court and discuss your case with a judge. There are different types of conferences in a child protection case.

Usually, your first conference is a or a “to be spoken to” (TBST) court appearance where you don't have to prepare any documents. But the that gave you this court date may ask you to prepare certain documents.

Before a , you need to prepare a Form 17D: Settlement Conference brief.

Before a , you need to prepare a Form 17E: Trial Management Conference brief.

Update your Answer and Plan of Care

You have to update your Answer and Plan of Care whenever there are big changes relating to your child. For example, if you change jobs or complete an in-patient drug treatment and this changes how you care for your child, you also have to update your plan.

To serve and file an updated document is called “amending” a document. You need to ask the court for permission to amend your Answer and Plan of Care. The court usually gives permission, especially if CAS and all other agree that you should be able to change your document because of a big change relating to the child.

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