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How Can Individuals Be Assured There is Fairness and Accountability in the CYFEA Review and Appeals Process?

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The Child, Youth, and Families Enforcement Act was designed to provide services to vulnerable children who have been abused, neglected, or need intervention. The premise of the policy is that child protective services will work for what is in the best interest of the child.

However, the CYFEA has its flaws, and individuals often encounter obstacles when navigating the review or appeals process.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly or have questions about CYFEA legal processes, it is always best to hire an experienced lawyer. A well-trained lawyer can protect your legal rights and help you resolve your family law issues.

What is the Child, Youth, and Families Enhancement Act (CYFEA)?

The Child, Youth, and Families Enhancement Act (CYFEA) is legislation that provides child protective services the authority to act on behalf of children who require intervention. The CYFEA also addresses adoption issues.

A child is said to require intervention when it is determined that a parent cannot adequately provide for the child or keep them safe from harm. In such cases, child protective services (CPS) will most likely open an investigation to determine if there is any merit to the case and if further action should be taken.

In some instances, authorities determine that the child’s safety is at risk to the point they are removed from the home and relocated with another family member or placed into foster care. In other situations, children can remain in the home while the investigation is completed.

Why Would Child Protective Services Investigate My Family?

Canadian law stipulates that every child has the legal right to be safe from harm. Child protective services will begin an investigation if allegations of abuse are made. Some of the most common child abuse or neglect allegations include:

  • Not providing children with enough food or proper clothing.
  • Not providing a child with a safe and warm place to live.
  • Failure to provide a child with essential medical care or medicine.
  • Ensuring that the child practices proper hygiene.
  • Lack of proper supervision.
  • Failure to prevent physical or emotional abuse.

What Happens if a Parent or Guardian Does Not Agree With a Decision Made By Child Protective Services?

Several options are available for parents or guardians who disagree with a decision made by CPS involving a child. One of the simplest methods involves alternate dispute resolution (ADR). In ADR, the parent or guardian who disagrees with the decision may utilize family conferences, mediation, or judicial dispute options to resolve their differences.

Another option involves administrative review and involves a formal dispute resolution process. A Child Intervention manager and another senior employee not previously involved in the case will review the original decision. At this point, the Child Intervention manager and senior employee will decide whether or not to uphold, change, or cancel the decision.

The next option is the appeals panel composed of community members, not individuals working for children’s services. However, these panel members have the necessary training and authority to hear the appeal. The appeals panel reviews the decision made during the administrative review and may also decide to change or cancel any type of intervention that may have been ordered.

Why Should I Have a Lawyer With Me When Dealing With CYFEA Issues?

If you are dealing with child abuse allegations, you must have an experienced lawyer who will act as your legal advocate. Any time a child’s well-being is at stake, it is tempting for parents to become emotional and not think clearly. However, with the help of an experienced family lawyer, parents can ensure their rights and that the child’s safety is protected.

A family lawyer can answer your questions, advise you of what will happen during an investigation, or assist you through a review or appeals process. Our lawyer can also help you understand the best course of action and what you can do if you disagree with decisions made by CPS.

If you are dealing with child protective services and would like to appeal a decision that has been made concerning your child, contact the Calgary family lawyers of JK Law at 587-742-2136 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

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