Parents Legal Centres

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If the caregiver wishes to challenge an order made at a protection hearing, a case conference is held with the Ministry and lawyers from the Centre for Parental Rights, where the judge acts as an intermediary between the parents and the Ministry. The Center`s lawyers may also attend family planning meetings and other forms of mediation between the two parties. Courts are complicated, expensive and slow, lawyers are expensive, and legal aid is limited, as mentioned in the first part of this series. Navigating the system is a challenge for B.C. parents, many of whom are already struggling with poverty and other issues. For Indigenous families, whose children are eight times more likely to be arrested, the challenges can be even greater. A variety of immigration law services for immigrants. Since the centres are legal aid offices, parents can apply for legal aid. There is currently an office in the basement of the Vancouver Provincial Court and another that opened in Surrey in January. New centres will open in November in Campbell River, Smithers-Hazelton, Prince George and Duncan, while centres in Williams Lake, Kamloops and Victoria will not open until 2019. Provides access to civil legal advice for Shelby County residents on a range of civil law issues.

Assist parents of minor children in obtaining uncontested access rights and divorces as unrepresented litigants. Often, this support comes through the office`s lawyer. Every parental rights center has a lawyer available to help clients in a way that goes beyond legal aid. Lawyers can accompany parents to meetings with their social worker and advocacy, or to assessments or doctor`s appointments. They can answer questions that parents may be too anxious to ask the social worker, such as about drug or alcohol treatment, and help families find housing. Provides civil law services specifically tailored to the needs of Memphis` immigrant community. And it`s hard for families to get legal help to navigate the court case. Parents` Legal Centres (CPEs) assist parents with child protection issues in the community. Harry said she had heard parents say they wanted to spend their day in court, even if it meant their children would be removed from their custody. But in the end, they choose to look for other solutions. The centres not only provide legal advice and representation at initial child protection hearings, but also services such as finding housing and replacing lost identity cards. The only criticism was that some families were unaware of the service, while others waited until the day of their hearing before seeking help.

The evaluations also noted the concern that the Legal Service may deprive lawyers of their work in private practice. “Child welfare as an aspect of the law is where we have the most opportunities to represent Indigenous culture and improve Indigenous peoples` interpretation of the legal system.” It is part of the centre`s comprehensive services. Harry stresses the importance of getting to know their clients better and helping parents get their children back and keeping the ministry out of their lives in the future. The centres can assist with presentation hearings, where the ministry explains to a judge why the child was removed from his or her family. These must be done within seven days of the arrest. As a former collective bargaining lawyer whose practice included child protection, Harry believes that through her work with the centres, she can have a greater impact on reforming the child welfare system for Indigenous peoples. In contrast, the Department of Children and Family Development spent twice as much on child protection legal services last year, up from $13 million in 2016-2017 and $11.9 million in 2015-2016. Another factor in most cases that come through the doors of the Parental Rights Centre is poverty. This is partly because parents who have money can hire their own lawyers to deal with children`s services. But it`s also because poverty – under the guise of neglect – is why many children are taken into care.

The Parents Legal Centre (PLC) provides a lawyer and advocate to help parents in some locations manage their child protection issues early and collaboratively (all working together). But that`s starting to change, thanks to the planned expansion of the province`s Parent Law Centre, a legal aid centre that deals specifically with child protection cases. The centre, which was founded in Vancouver in 2015, has three lawyers and one advocacy staff member and provides legal advice, advocacy and representation to families involved in child protection proceedings. Parent legal centres help parents resolve their child protection issues quickly and collectively by providing services at every stage of the child protection issue. This makes sense when you look at the province`s child welfare statistics: almost two-thirds of the 6,490 children in care are Indigenous.

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