What if CAS takes my child?

Understand what a ‘child in need of protection’ means

A is a child that a (CAS) thinks has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed because of something that their parent or has done or not done.

Harm includes situations where a child is being abused or neglected. The abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional. Neglect is when a child's basic needs for things like food, shelter, sleep, or clothing are not being met.

For example, a person might report their concern about a child to CAS if they believe the child's parents or caregivers are:

  • being violent to each other
  • hitting or tying up the child
  • not giving the child food
  • touching the child in a sexual way
  • leaving the child alone without the care they need
  • exposing the child to a dangerous situation or dangerous people

The law says a child is “in need of protection” only when one or more specific conditions are met, for example:

  • they suffered from physical harm because of what a parent did
  • there is a risk that they will likely suffer physical harm because of what a parent does
  • they have been sexually abused by a parent
  • there is a risk that they will likely be sexually abused by a parent

If the court decides that a child is in need of protection, it can make an order that it thinks is in the child's best interests. For example, it can order that the child be placed in the care of CAS.

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