1. Get legal help

If CAS has taken your child, talk to a lawyer who has worked on child protection cases right away.

You don’t need a lawyer to ask the court or CAS for to visit your child, but having a lawyer to help you is a good idea. These types of cases can move quickly and be complicated. A lawyer can help make sure you don’t miss any deadlines, and help you fill out the paperwork correctly.

Try and find a lawyer who:

  • understands your situation,
  • has experience doing child protection cases, and
  • accepts legal aid work, if you have a legal aid certificate.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers offer “unbundled” or “limited scope” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you might be able to find legal help in other places.

If you have to go to court and don’t have a lawyer, you can ask for a lawyer at the court to help you. Duty counsel lawyers are available at certain times in many courts in Ontario. They can give advice and speak to the court on your behalf for free.

In very few situations, a parent has the right to a lawyer to make sure that their court case with CAS is fair. In those situations, a court can order the government to pay for that parent’s lawyer through Legal Aid Ontario. This doesn’t happen in most cases.

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