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Avoiding Problems


Ten Easy Steps for Avoiding Legal Problems with Children’s Aid Societies

As a parent, you can take several simple and practical steps to avoid legal problems with Children’s Aid Societies.

1. Before you speak to Children’s Aid or to the police consult a lawyer whenever you are faced with any allegations of child abuse. The Law Society of Upper Canada offers a free legal referral service that can help you locate a qualified lawyer that handles children’s aid cases in your area;

2. Make sure that your children’s medical, physical and psychological needs are met; do not hesitate to ask for help from professionals, relatives and trusted friends; if you suffer from any psychological or psychiatric disorder, seek and receive treatment and take your medication regularly;

3. Choose your partner carefully; make sure that your partner shares your values and your priorities to look after your children’s best interests; and make sure your partner does not have issues with substance abuse and legal issues involving violence or convictions for violence, including sexual assault.

4. Make sure that every one of your babysitters is screened for criminal past, questionable character or other emotional or psychological problems;

5. Make sure that you and your partner attend at least one parenting course;

6. If you suffer from drug or alcohol abuse make sure you receive treatment right away and lean to abstain from such use;

7.  Maintain detailed and objective records documenting the behavioural problems, if any, of all your children and the steps you have taken to have those problems addressed and resolved;

8. Never use inappropriate physical or psychological methods to punish your children;

9. Learn to set child-appropriate boundaries regarding your children’s behaviour;

10. Never refuse to cooperated with the workers of the child welfare agency when they knock on your door; being rude, antagonistic and confrontational will exasperate your problems.

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