Families facing child protection proceedings to get more time with their lawyers
Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014
Starting Nov. 3, 2014, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is providing more time for lawyers to help clients who are involved in a court proceeding with a child protection agency.
“I applaud the work Legal Aid Ontario is doing to strengthen the family law services it provides.”
Clients and their lawyers may use this additional time to address legal issues by taking steps such as: bringing forward motions, participating in settlement negotiations, and conducting in-depth file review – all of which support earlier resolution and avoid unnecessary trials.
“LAO is pleased to expand services for one of LAO’s highest priority client groups,” says John McCamus, Chair of LAO. “Parents who have had their children taken away are among the most vulnerable clients who appear at family court.”
The increased hours for child protection matters is one of a number of programs that LAO is developing with the use of $30 million in additional provincial funding that specifically highlights family law and community legal clinics.
“I applaud the work Legal Aid Ontario is doing to strengthen the family law services it provides,” said Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General. “Improving the delivery and scope of family law services is a vital step toward building a more holistic family justice system in Ontario.”
This initiative is part of LAO’s family law strategy, which aims to reduce the number of families who go to court without a lawyer and provide families with holistic and integrated services, among other benefits.
Each year, LAO allocates approximately $70 million to help more than 125,000 low-income Ontarians through a wide range of family law services, including summary legal advice, mediation, assistance from lawyers at family law information centres and family law service centres, representation by private practice lawyers, and settlement conferences.
For more information about the funding for this program:
Director General, Policy & Strategic Research