Can I agree to get help from CAS?

Learn about voluntary services agreements

A voluntary services agreement, which is also called a plan of service, is a contract between you and a (CAS).

In the plan of service, you agree that your family will work with CAS to help you care for your child. For example, you may agree to:

  • get counselling for you or your child
  • get tested for drugs
  • get help for an addiction
  • not use physical discipline
  • make sure that your child goes to school on time
  • make sure your child gets proper medical care
  • CAS visiting your home

CAS can offer you these services or can help you find services from another organization in your community. Ask your CAS worker what options you have, and see which ones works best for you and your child.  

Some services may be free. Others you may need to pay for. Let CAS know if you can afford to pay for some services as those may have a shorter waiting list. 

If CAS thinks it would be helpful for your child to have counselling and your child is 12 years old or older, only your child has to agree to it. CAS expects you to encourage your child to go for counselling, and help them get to the counsellor's office.

If you've signed a voluntary services agreement, your child stays with you. CAS keeps their file open and can take other steps if you don't follow the agreement, or if they have any new concerns about whether you can care for your child.

If your child is 16 or 17 years old

Sometimes your child may be involved in the agreement you make with CAS. This means they also agree to the CAS services and may also need to sign the agreement.

Other times, only your child makes an agreement with CAS. This means that they, not you, sign the agreement to work with CAS. This type of agreement is called a Voluntary Youth Services Agreement (VYSA).

For example, if a 16-year-old has left home because of an unsafe living situation, they can sign an agreement with CAS. CAS might arrange for them to live with a relative, friend, or neighbour, or at a foster or group home.

Your child must be given the chance to talk to a lawyer at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) to get before signing the agreement. CAS usually makes a referral to the OCL and a lawyer will be assigned. If CAS is refusing to enter a VYSA, your child can contact the OCL.

A VYSA can be made for periods of 12 months. Your child can end the agreement whenever they want. The agreement automatically ends when they turn 18 years old.

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