Learn about alternative dispute resolution agreements

If you can't agree on some issues with a (CAS), for example, the amount of time your child will be in care, you can sign an agreement to try (ADR).

This agreement doesn't resolve your issues with CAS. It helps you to only agree on a process that you and CAS can use to try to resolve your issues.

ADR works well for certain kinds of issues. For example, it can help resolve issues like:

  • where your child is placed, for example, whether the place is suitable and is not too far from your home
  • the terms of a that work for your family
  • a detailed  plan if your child is not in your care
  • what needs to be done before your child can return home, if your child is not in your care
  • whether it's possible for your child to be cared for by extended family, instead of by CAS
  • an openness order for children who will be adopted so that they can stay in touch with their birth family

ADR is not helpful in some situations. For example, if a parent has been charged with a crime, or has serious drug or substance abuse problems.

ADR is voluntary. This means you and CAS can't be forced to use ADR, though the law says CAS must think about using it. Both of you have to agree to it. And anyone can ask to stop the process at any time.

CAS must think about using ADR as a way to resolve issues with parents. You can use ADR even after a court case has started.

The ADR process with CAS must be private. And it must also be run by a person who:

  • is neutral, which means they do not take sides
  • does not have the power to decide anything

There are different types of ADR you can use, including and family group conferencing. If your child is First Nation, Inuk or Métis, you can choose to use a traditional way to resolve your issues, such as a talking circle.

You can read more about the rules for ADR and how it works in child protection.

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