We know how frightening it is for you when suddenly the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) knocks at your door and takes away your children. Of course, you won’t like it when an outsider starts questioning your ability to raise your own kids.
Therefore, it’s important to know how to fight children’s aid society and tackle the overall situation. And if you are concerned about this fact, you have come to the right place to remove your confusion. Without further delays, let’s learn about the core facts regarding this matter.
When Can CAS Take Your Child?
CAS will take your children if the home environment is dangerous for your children, and the kids can’t be safe if they are with you.
An unsafe environment mainly refers to the following situation.
- The child is physically, mentally, or sexually abused by you or anyone in the household
- You can’t fulfill the child’s needs or provide appropriate medical care
- You fail to keep your home safety
- A member of the house is drug-addicted
In case any of the mentioned things happen, CAS might immediately take your children, depending on the seriousness of the issue. However, a child’s age plays an important role in this case.
If the child is under 16, CAS can take them even if they refuse to go. Meanwhile, kids older than 16 have to agree to leave home. Without their permission, the organization can’t do anything.
What Triggers CAS to Investigate Your Case?
So, why Children’s Aid Society involves in your family matter in the first place? Well, typically, the organization comes forward after getting a report from the children themselves or any other concern close to them.
Usually, teachers, doctors, neighbours, family members, relatives – people who are around the children play the part of referral if they sense something unusual.
However, not all reports are made out of concern. Sometimes, to get advantages in winning a lawsuit – especially in divorce cases – parents misuse this way to win the child’s custody.
Things You Should Do if CAS Contacts You
Getting a call from the CAS is surely a terrifying incident. However, you have to prepare yourself for the upcoming legal procedure. So make sure to follow the below tips to become fully prepared.
Call an experienced lawyer
Most of the time, the social workers come unannounced. But luckily, if you get the information beforehand, utilize the opportunity and call a lawyer who has previously dealt with child protection cases.
As these cases involve children, many surrounding variables are involved, making each case different from others. That’s why seeking the help of a lawyer who is specialized in this field is a wiser call.
On the other hand, if you don’t get the chance at that time, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Early involvement of a professional can make a huge difference in the whole legal process.
Be nice to the CAS worker
Although CAS is not like the police, you should treat them with respect since your behaviour will consider as an important factor in the court. After all, the court, judge, Children’s Aid Society, and every individual involved here are working for the child’s safety.
So, the cooperation of every party is expected. If you are not cooperative, the court will think you are not caring enough towards your children or don’t want to reveal every information, which will be important evidence for their complaint.
Do not refuse to meet
Refusing meeting with CAS will look highly suspicious. So, if you are suspected of assaulting your kids, collaborate with every step of queries without any hesitation. However, before you do so, speak with your lawyer and develop a plan since all the things you say and might be used as a statement against you.
Make sure your house is child-friendly
This is an important thing to do to create a good first impression. You know, whether your house is clean or messy reveals a lot about your character. Therefore, a clean and tidy as well as kid-proofed house will make you a believable person to the social workers.
So make sure there are no dangerous elements or poisonous substances are at the reach of the children. Also, the structure and the furniture set up of the home don’t pose any physical danger for the kids.
Moreover, your house also contains the sign of whether you are capable of providing the basic needs of your children or not. The organization might check the food, playing or learning materials, and others to justify if they are appropriate and adequate for the age of the kid or not.
Early preparation of these things can help a lot in the later processes.
Let your kids speak if the CAS demand
Sometimes the social workers demand to talk with your child without your presence. They do this to make sure that the kids aren’t any kind of influence. Thus, if you don’t co-operate this time, it will literally seem like you are trying to cover up the truth, and the kids are in real danger.
Since it will cause serious problems, so it’s better to don’t make the CAS thing that you put words in your kid’s mouth.
Anyways, in this case, your child can demand a lawyer’s presence if they want. However, the request should be made directly from the kids. You or any other member of the house can’t interfere here.
Take advice from your lawyer before signing anything
As the guardian of your children, you have to go over so many documents. Most of them are for giving the authorization to speak up with the closest person of the kids. Even if you don’t sign these documents, the workers will meet them anyway. Your sign is just a formality here.
However, remember that you should not sign any kind of agreement with the CAS because it can take away some of your rights. So it’s highly recommended to discuss a lawyer before, even if it seems like a normal paper to you.
Ask for the file and make sure the case is closed
You have the right to ask for the file that the CAS has on you. The file will let you know why you are investigated. This information is very important to be prepared against the charge. And you should look at it before the charges against you are dropped.
On the other hand, when the investigation is finished, you are bound to get a letter about it. If you don’t get the letter, it will mean that the social workers are watching your activity even if they are not visible.
That’s all about how to fight Children’s Aid Society (CAS). Hopefully, you don’t have any more confusion now. So, don’t be afraid of the CAS starting to investigate you. Be well prepared and seek the help of the professional without any delay.
Thus, no one can separate you and your family with false charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you refuse to speak with CAS?
You can’t refuse to speak with CAS. If you refuse, that will look highly suspicious, and the CAS will think that you have something to hide. So, don’t refuse to speak or meet with them.
Can CAS show up unannounced?
Yes, CAS can show up unannounced in front of your door to investigate whether your children are safe or not. They have the right to do it. However, sometimes they might call you and tell you about the meeting beforehand if they want.
Can social services take my child away without evidence?
After getting any complaints or reports from concerns, the social service investigates it and sees whether there is anything harmful or not. If they find anything that makes them believe that the child is in danger, they take the child away.
What are my rights with FACS?
If FACS takes your children away from you, they have to attend the Children’s Court the next day and explain their actions. At court, you can ask FACS for more information if you think that’s necessary for you and apply for visitation and contact your children – these are the rights you can use with FACS.