What is a temporary care and custody hearing in my child protection case?
3. Prepare your documents
You usually have 30 days from the (CAS) starting its case to serve and file your Form 33B.1: Answer and Plan of Care.
Your Answer and Plan of Care tells the court what you're asking for and if you agreed with anything CAS said in their . This form is not evidence in your case.
Your evidence is your affidavit. An affidavit is a document that has facts that you want the court to consider. So you need to make sure that everything you want the court to know about is in the affidavits you with the court. This is because the court usually makes a decision based only on the written affidavits. You usually don't testify in court.
Your affidavit should support what you say in Answer and Plan of Care. It should only include details of things that you saw or heard yourself. If your affidavit has to include information that you heard about from someone else, then your affidavit should say:
- who told you that information, and
- that you believe the information to be true.
The court may order a deadline to and file your affidavits. Make sure you serve and file on time. If you are not sure about your deadline, call the court staff or ask .
You need to use Form 14A: Affidavit. You have to swear or affirm that the information in your affidavit is true before you sign it. This means you promise that the information in it is true. It's against the law to lie when swearing an affidavit.
In this form, you should explain how you can protect your child and what family supports, daycare, counselling and any other services you will use or ask CAS for. You can also attach documents to your affidavit. For example, you might want to attach:
- letters from your employer or community agencies that you have used
- parts of the CAS file that you want the court to see
- a copy of your new rental agreement to show you have a stable home
- a job offer to show you have a job
- certificates from the parenting classes you went to
You can ask for your child to be returned to you. Also ask for in case your child is not returned to you.
You should give the court as much information as possible in your affidavit about the details of your access plan. For example, include details like if a family member or friend is willing to supervise the access so you don't have to go to CAS' office.
It's better to tell CAS if you have someone to supervise the access as early as possible so it won't delay your case. If you tell CAS about the person right before your court date, CAS may ask for more time to meet with them and see if they're suitable.
Affidavits from other people
You can also file affidavits from other people who support you or important information related to your case. For example, your neighbours, family, friends, child care workers, or doctor may be willing to give evidence about your ability to care for your child.
Other people should also use Form 14A: Affidavit.
If a person won't sign an affidavit, ask if they will write and sign a letter that you can attach to your affidavit. Sometimes the court won't allow these kinds of unsworn letters as evidence. You should talk to your lawyer or duty counsel about what might be allowed.