If your child is taken from you by the authorities, it is important that you take the right steps and your first action should be to reach out to a child welfare lawyer. By the time that a decision is made to remove children from a home, Child and Family Services has found some evidence of abuse, neglect, or exposure to criminal activity.
What Are the Legal Options When a Child Is Taken Away?
When the Court is involved, they can impose the following orders:
- A Supervision Order: Your child will live with you but you must consent to regular visits from Child and Family Services and agree to conditions to ensure the child has a safe and stable living environment.
- A Temporary Guardianship Order (“TGO”): A Court may decide your children should be removed in the meantime, but that they be returned in the future so long as you follow the recommendations of Children’s Services. You and your relatives may be able to visit your child under a TGO, at the discretion of the court.
- A Permanent Guardianship Order (“PGO”): A Court may decide you are unlikely to care for your child and the child not be returned within a reasonable time. A permanent home will be arranged for the children, although other family members may be able to apply for guardianship.
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What do child welfare services do?
In Alberta, child welfare services are run by the government. They exist to protect a child’s safety and respond to concerns if a child’s life or well-being is in danger. The length of time they are involved with a family depends on the circumstances. Child services works with people to address concerns as quickly as possible and make efforts to keep children safely at home.
Why is child welfare important?
Child welfare is important because children (individuals under the age of 18) need people to step in if there is a cause for concern. If children are in a home where their own parents or guardians are abusing or neglecting them, child welfare exists to protect them. Without government intervention, it would be difficult for children to get out of a difficult situation that they may not have any control over.
What are some child welfare issues?
Child welfare will be involved in cases of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. As examples, child services will step in if children are being abused by their parents or guardians, if a child’s basic needs are not being provided for in their home, or if a child is exposed to parents or guardians who are selling or making illegal drugs. Generally, child services tries to work with parents or guardians to fix their issues if they think it’s solvable.