Divorce Lawyer Edmonton | What is a Child Who Needs Intervention?
There are many laws in Alberta that speak to child welfare says divorce lawyer Edmonton. And the act that governs all of these laws is called the child youth family and enhancement act.
What this act outlines, is what it means when a child is in need of intervention. This is if there are reasonable or probable grounds to believe that the child is in danger either with the safety of, the security of, or the development of that child.
Often, this refers to children who have run away from home. Or if they have become lost and separated from their family. Or if their parents or guardians have abandoned them. Or, if they have passed away.
This will allow child and family services to act on behalf of the child, to fix the situation. Either by reuniting them with their family. Or finding the people who will then become their guardians.
However, the act also specifies if children have been neglected, physically injured, emotionally or sexually abused by their guardian. Or if there parent or guardian is unable to protect them from that abuse. Or unwilling to protect them as well.
If this is the case, any person who witnesses a child who is in need of intervention. Is legally obligated to report the situation to child and family services.
Child and family services is an umbrella term says divorce lawyer Edmonton. And it refers to a collection of government agencies. That are tasked with handling matters concerning child welfare.
Depending on what part of the province people live in. And especially if they live in an urban centre, or if they are in a rural area. That may mean a different government agency will be tasked with handling the case.
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However, regardless of what government agency specifically is handling the issue of a child who is in need of intervention. They will have extremely broad powers that they can use to investigate.
Often that means entering the home and looking at the state of the home, and the condition that the child is being kept in. As well as speaking directly to the child and their parents or guardians separately.
It also will allow child and family services to speak to any other third parties who could be witnesses. Including the child’s teachers, siblings, extended family members like ants, uncles and grandparents. And neighbours who may have seen things.
They will take all of their evidence and come to a conclusion. Whether the problems can be fixed, or if they feel that parents or guardians would be unable or unwilling to work towards a solution.
If they believe that parents or guardians would be willing to help fix the situation. They will create a family enhancement agreement. That while voluntary to sign. Will become legally binding once signed.
And will help outline all of the steps that parents or guardians need to take to correct the situation. Once they have completed all of the requirements outlined in the agreement.
And complete them within a specific timeframe. Child and family services can reinvestigate, and consider the matter closed says divorce lawyer Edmonton.
This is one of the ways that the province of Alberta can protect its most vulnerable members. Ensuring that they are always being kept safe, and free from harm.
Divorce Lawyer Edmonton | When a Child Needs Intervention
Child welfare is usually taken very seriously says divorce lawyer Edmonton. However, it is not a federal law that protects children. The provincial one, meaning child welfare laws change from province to province.
In Alberta, the act that governs these laws is called the child youth family and enhancement act. And can be found in its entirety on free. For anyone who has any questions about the act. Or who has questions about child welfare in general.
If there has been a complaint made, and child and family services has investigated. They will have several ways that they can proceed, if they determine that a parent or guardian has placed their child in danger.
Ultimately, they will try to resolve situations as amicably as possible. By presenting what is called a family enhancement agreement. That can outline steps that they believe will help remove that child from danger.
Divorce lawyer Edmonton says these steps can be things like taking a parenting course, or getting a domestic violence counselling. It can require parents to move physical dangers from the home, or agree to certain behaviours.
However, a parent or guardian is under no legal obligation to sign the document. And if they choose to not sign. The next step will be to take the matter before a judge.
Since it could take several months or even longer than a year to get the matter before a judge. The first hearing that is held. Will be to determine who gets custody of the child before the child takes place.
This will have the parent or guardian presenting their side of the matter. Child and family services presenting their evidence, to persuade a judge to give custody to them.
After that matter is settled. While they are waiting for the trial to begin. Child and family services must apply for one of 3 Different court orders. That will outline what will happen, the judge rules in child and family services favour.
Family services can apply for a supervision order. Which will allow parents or guardians to have custody of their child while completing requirements.
They can apply for a temporary guardianship order. Which will specify who has custody of the child while the parents meet these conditions says divorce lawyer Edmonton.
Or a permanent guardianship order. Which means that the child and family services has deemed that the child has been in such a grave danger. That the judge will strip the parents or guardians from their parental rights. And they will lose custody of their child for good.
Parents who have had a child and family services investigation. Should always seek independent legal counsel. In order to understand if they do not sign the family enhancement agreement. What the next steps are, in addition to what the risks are as well.
The laws in Alberta take the welfare of the children in the province very seriously. And parents should understand this, especially if they have had a complaint made against them.