What is a temporary care and custody hearing in my child protection case?

4. Go to court

The judge usually makes their decision based on the law and affidavit evidence.  Only in rare cases does a court allow a to testify.

If (CAS) wants to keep your child in care or with someone other than you, they must show that:

  • there are reasonable grounds to believe that there's a risk that the child is likely to suffer harm if they are returned to you. This means there is enough evidence to prove that your child is likely to be harmed if returned to you, and
  • your child can't be protected by terms of supervision. This means CAS doesn't think your child would be safe if left in your care even if you agreed to do things to keep them safe.

The judge makes one of the following temporary orders, to place your child:

  1. in your care or the care of another parent or
  2. in your care or the care of another parent or caregiver but with a which means that CAS supervises you or the other parent or caregiver
  3. in the care of CAS

Before making a , the court must consider if there is a relative or extended family or community member who could care for the child. For a child who identifies as First Nations, Inuk, or Métis, this could include an order for .

The court makes the decision that it thinks is in the . This includes the child's views, unless there's no way to find out what they are.

Terms of Supervision

If the judge makes a supervision order, the terms are based on the concerns CAS has about your child. This means if CAS thinks the risk of harm is high, the terms in your supervision order will be strict.

If you agree with any of the terms of supervision that CAS asks for, tell the judge. That may convince the judge to return your child to your care under a supervision order, instead of keeping your child in CAS care.  

If you don't agree to the terms of supervision that CAS asks for, your affidavit should say why you think their terms are unreasonable or unnecessary. You can suggest different terms or you can say that you don't think that any terms are necessary.

Access

If your child isn't returned to you, the court decides if you should have to your child and how your access visits take place. The judge may give you . This means that a child protection worker or another person watches while you visit with your child to make sure your child is safe. The visit usually happens at a CAS office.

Or, for example, the court may give you access somewhere else or order a minimum number of visits for you per week. Or, the court may let CAS decide access. The order depends on what the court decides is needed to keep your child safe.

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