What is alternative dispute resolution in a child protection case?

4. Go to ADR

ADR is a chance for you to try and negotiate an agreement with CAS outside of court.

Remember that ADR is always closed. So only in very rare situations can something that was said during ADR be repeated in court.

Lawyers don't always attend ADR. Usually, you and CAS decide before ADR if your lawyers will be there. But, you can always speak with your lawyer any time to ask questions or get advice.  And, it's a good idea to have a lawyer review any agreement before you sign it.

Lawyers sometimes come to , but rarely come to family group conferences or Indigenous ADR approaches. 

Your child’s lawyer

The (OCL) decides whether your child's OCL lawyer should take part in ADR. If your child can express what they want, the OCL is more likely to take part.

The OCL lawyer meets with your child before ADR to understand your child's views and tell your child what to expect from ADR. The OCL lawyer then shares your child's views with everyone involved in ADR. 

If your child comes to ADR, their OCL lawyer helps them prepare for ADR and supports them when it happens.

Issues to talk about

If your child is going to remain in your care, some issues you can discuss are:

  • what services CAS can offer your family
  • what other services your family can access
  • what changes you need to make to your home to make sure your child is safe
  • how CAS supervises your care

If your child is not going to remain in your care, some issues you can discuss are:

  • the programs or courses you can do so that your child can return to your care
  • how long CAS plans to care for your child
  • how your child maintains their cultural, racial, linguistic, and religious heritage while CAS cares for them
  • whether your child can stay with family or friends
  • how and when you and others in the extended family can contact your child, for example, by phone, mail, and in person
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