Child Protective Services has taken my child. What are my rights?

When Child Protective Services gets involved with your family, their next steps will depend on how serious they believe the situation to be.

For example:

  • If they think the child is probably not at risk, they may call the claim “unsubstantiated.” However, they still may have some concerns about the well-being of the child in the future. In this case, they might suggest “Early Intervention Services.” Many complaints are handled in this way.
  • If they are a little more concerned, they might choose to try a “Family Enhancement Agreement.” This is also a common solution.
  • If CPS has even more serious concerns, they can intervene in more intrusive ways. For example: taking the child into government custody.

Child Protective Services is required to make sure that children are safe. They are doing their job.

Your “rights” at the time depend on the seriousness of the situation. However, you always have the right to a lawyer. Things can happen quickly in these situations. You may want to consider getting legal help immediately. You can contact:

  • Legal Aid Alberta
  • Your local community legal clinic
  • Resolution and Court Administration Services
  • A private lawyer
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