Legal Documents

 

Ontario Child Protection Tools Manual - Feb 2007and Ontario Child Protection Standards in Ontario

These two documents are a must read for every family having to deal with a child protection agency in Ontario.  These documents describe how child protection workers must carry out their duties.  For parents who feel that child protection workers have failed to carry out their duties with due diligence, these documents may help to give parents the ground to make CAS workers in Ontario accountable for what they do.  Information contained in these books may even be helpful to parents who feel that they have the grounds for a civil lawsuit against a particular CAS worker or CAS agency.

Child Protection Standards in Ontario - February 2007 in PDF format

Ontario child Protection Tools Manual - February 2007 in PDF Format

 

How to record your own court hearing

This document explains how citizens can and should record their own court hearings.  Based on the Courts of Justice Act for Ontario, this document will help citizens excerpt their rights to record their own court hearing.  Following the guidelines in this document will bring greater accountability to the system.

How to record your own court hearing document in PDF Format

 

The Law of Habeas Corpus in Canada as it applies in Custody of children

Some excerpts from the Butterworth's publication from 1974 which covers the issue of Habeas Corpus in Canada relating to child custody cases.  This may be helpful to those wanting to learn more about this little know section of the Law.  Parents who have had children taken by child welfare authorities may find this helpful.

Link to document in PDF Format

 

Risk Assessment Model from Child Protection in Ontario (2000)

If you or a member of your family are involved with a child protection agency in Ontario (usually called a Children Aid Society) you should study this document and know it inside and out.   This will give you knowledge of the criteria that workers must follow in determining if your children are at risk which will allow them to intrude into your family.  For those families who are being harassed by a child protection agency, knowledge of this risk assessment tool may well give you the knowledge to fight back and to get these workers out of your life.  Every parent should be reviewing this document with the workers should they get a call or be involved with a child protection agency or worker.  Every parent should make the worker explain as to what criteria they had which caused them to believe that your children are at risk of harm.  This tool was part of the training package to Ontario Lawyers in 2004 so although it was produced in the year 2000, it is still considered current in 2004.

Link to risk assessment tool document in PDF Format

 

Ontario's Office of the Children's Lawyer Social Worker Guidelines for Social Worker reports

Ontario's Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL) has always been very protective and secretive of is social worker guideline manual for conducting social worker investigations  for the OCL.  The OCL is so protective of this document that even Clare Burns, the Children's Lawyer office personally appeared before the Milton, Ontario court in April of 2004, accompanied by  taxpayer funded OCL lawyers to argue why parents in court facing the OCL should be denied the right to view this this document which was paid for by the taxpayers of Ontario.  Senior lawyer, Dina Moyal, testified under Oath in court one time that the Office of the Children Lawyer did not have a Code of Ethics [link to Dina Moyal's court testimony here] when in fact the OCL did have some of its own published code of ethics guidelines and considerations.  One must ask as to why the OCL is so obsessed about keeping these documents out of the public's hands.

 

What is also interesting about the testimony of Dina Moyal is that she stated that it is not an assessment performed by the Office of the Children's Lawyer when they are involved under 112 of the Courts of Justice Act. Most parents are under the impression otherwise when the OCL sends in a social worker.  In another statement she made, she stated that the OCL was accountable to the Court and to the Attorney General's Office. What ever happened to the children?  Is the OCL not accountable to the children it claims to be helping?  In an indication of the kind of training that OCL workers receive, Ms. Moyal said that the OCL only provides their workers with an "idea" of how other organizations do their assessments.  With millions of dollars of taxpayer's money going to the OCL one must wonder how this government agency can get away without having a code of ethic and comprehensive training for its workers. Why does the OCL not just let these other organization who have proper training and procedures do the work?

 

Thanks to an informant who wishes to remain anonymous, a copy of this document has been made available to Court Watch from files at the Ontario Court of Justice on Sheppard Ave. W. in Toronto, Ontario.  This document was produced using taxpayer's money and therefore should be made available for reference by all the citizens of Ontario.  Court Watch hopes that many parents will be better able to protect their children's rights and freedoms though awareness of this OCL document.

Link to document in PDF Format
 

 

The Charter of Rights and Child Welfare Law
Prof. Nicholas Bala
*
Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
For Law Society of Upper Canada program on Best Practices for the Conduct of A Child Protection File
March 9, 2004
 

Child welfare proceedings are a dramatic instance of state intervention in the lives of Canadians, and are regulated by the Charter. Lawyers and judges who deal with cases in the child welfare field must understand the implications of the Charter of Rights for this area of practice.
            While initially reluctant to recognize the constitutional significance of familial relationships, in the last few years, the courts have accepted that familial relationships are of fundamental societal importance and worthy of constitutional recognition and protection.  The 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decisions in M. v. H. and New Brunswick v. G.(J.) marked a dramatic change in judicial approach. In G.(J.) the Supreme Court held that child protection proceedings pose a fundamental threat to the “security of the person” of parents and their children, and hence must be conducted in accordance with “the principles of fundamental justice.”  This decision dealt with the right of indigent parents to a lawyer paid by the state, but it has  implications for a range of issues in child protection and adoption proceedings.  More recent Supreme Court decisions in Trociuk (2003) and Canadian Foundation for Children (2004) demonstrate a continued concern with parental rights, while Gosselin (2002) signals a reluctance of the Court to use the Charter to require the state to incur significant financial costs to address social inequities.
            This paper reviews the Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and considers the implications of this jurisprudence for other issues that arise in child welfare proceedings.   In some cases the superior courts invoke their parens patriae power and “Charter values” rather than the Charter itself, as this may give a court more remedial and procedural flexibility. The issues  raised are complex, and Bala offers a conceptual framework to analyze the constitutional issues that can arise in child welfare proceedings.
            In most cases, the Charter is invoked in child welfare cases to ensure a fair process, one that is fair to parents and children, but also one that will ensure that the court has a hearing that allows for an proper exploration of the child’s best interests.  In some cases, Canadian courts have invoked the Charter to affect the substantive outcome, but decisions in the Supreme Court and in the trial courts also reflect a concern that the Charter should not be invoked to require that the state to incur expenses to promote the welfare of the disadvantaged.  In Canadian Foundation of Children the Supreme Court held that the “best interests of the child” is not one of the principles of fundamental justice.  This judicial pronouncement may limit judicial invocation of the Charter to address substantive issues in the child welfare field, but it is argued in this paper that the decision does not totally preclude judicial use of the Charter to achieve substantive outcomes that promote the best interests of children.

Link to document in PDF Format