Legal Representation for Parents in
Children's Aid Society Cases
Julie Ralhan, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., is a lawyer who focuses exclusively on the representation of parents, grandparents, and other family members in Children’s Aid Society cases.
The parent-child relationship is one of the most fundamental relationships of human life. The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the rights at stake in child protection proceedings are “unquestionably of the highest order”; and that “few state actions can have a more profound effect on the lives of both parent and child.”
The State, through its delegates, Children’s Aid Societies, wields enormous power to intervene in the lives of families through the framework of child protection law. Such intervention may include the forced removal of children from the care of their parents, and placement of these apprehended children within the foster care system.
Given the very serious nature of child protection proceedings and the fundamental rights at stake, it is imperative that parents have representation and legal advice regarding such cases.
A legal process that treats parents with respect and dignity, and ensures procedural and substantive fairness is in the best interests of children, as it allows courts to render fair, just and accurate decisions. Children, our most precious resource, deserve no less.