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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-14-2013, 10:53 AM
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Default How to get a copy of the Children's Aid File

Does anyone know how we can get a copy of the children's aid file? We had a "visit" from children's aide and would like a copy of the file pertaining to these visits... they did say we could have them subpoenaed but how? Is there any other way to get the file without having it subpoenaed? We are thinking we'd like to self represent...
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:04 AM
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All I was able to get was a summary of their involvement.

I requested it under the freedom of information act. It was a piece of garbage with no useful information.

My understanding is if you want any real information you will probably need a judge to order them to provide it to you via a court order.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:07 AM
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I do know it depends on how you asked for the information through the freedom of information act. Meaning, did you ask for a copy of the complete file? How did you word your request when you submitted the form?
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:16 AM
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I do know it depends on how you asked for the information through the freedom of information act. Meaning, did you ask for a copy of the complete file? How did you word your request when you submitted the form?
I asked for very specific things such as notes documents etc.

However they said I can only ask for information pertaining to only me. Since the things I requested would include information about other people I needed their permission as well.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:23 AM
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But we should be able to get information about ourselves AND the children since we have joint legal custody of these children? And the SA provides that we are entitled to access records, health info, etc....
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:58 PM
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Here are your choices:

1. Request a copy of the file (usually via FOIA). This will be HEAVILY edited to remove any/all information pertaining to anyone else other than your household.

2. Request a SUMMARY of the intake. (Basically...Intake Date, Summary of allegation, close date, close status)

The above is all you truly need. The most important parts are the fact it was closed, and WHAT it was closed as.

(Usual categories are:

Good: Closed (substantiated)
Better: Closed (Inconclusive)
Best: Closed (unsubstantiated)

Basically: allegation true, can't tell either way, allegation determined to be false.

The only way to get the entire file is:

3) File a motion with the court requesting disclosure of the entire file and have a judge order it.

You'll want a lawyer for this one. It's tricky to pull off, due to privacy concerns. The only time you'll require this level of detail anyway is if you suspect that the intakes are malicious and want to prove the source of them.

If you suspect that the intakes are malicious in nature and need specifics you have to find your provincial equivalent of the Family Services Act.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:03 PM
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The allegations weren't that bad actually. And they were unfounded. The CAS worker actually told us who made the complaint, and we knew anyways who did too. And the worker went on to say that this was a child custody issue, not a child safety issue. The case was closed as all allegations were unfounded. In fact, our house/file has been flagged so that any future allegations get handled by the same case worker because she knows the parent who made the allegations is malicious on the best of days.

I suspect when we go to court that they will twist things around which is why I would like this. I think I'm going to ask for both 1 and 2 above. Why not. Can't hurt.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serene View Post
But we should be able to get information about ourselves AND the children since we have joint legal custody of these children? And the SA provides that we are entitled to access records, health info, etc....
You can get the info about YOUR household in option 1 above. However the Children's Aid is bound by different legislation. There is the expectation of privacy on reporting issues to them. You are not entitled to know the source of the report, due to the way their mandate functions.

It's irritating as hell...I'm into double digit "unsubstantiated" reports myself. My options are to suck it up, or to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to get an order to unlock the full file (including the source) and THEN try to make an argument for bad faith use of the department.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
The CAS worker actually told us who made the complaint,
Ummm then expect that worker to be gone in short order. That's a HUGE legal issue. Instant termination for cause. Unless the person who filed the complaint gave permission to be identified, they are not legally allowed to do so.

It's not hard to figure it out most of the time, and while the worker(s), at least in my experience will not deny who the report came from....they will not flat out identify the individual unless that person has (a) given consent or (b) in the case of denial of access, already made their involvement transparent.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBDad View Post
Ummm then expect that worker to be gone in short order. That's a HUGE legal issue. Instant termination for cause. Unless the person who filed the complaint gave permission to be identified, they are not legally allowed to do so.

It's not hard to figure it out most of the time, and while the worker(s), at least in my experience will not deny who the report came from....they will not flat out identify the individual unless that person has (a) given consent or (b) in the case of denial of access, already made their involvement transparent.
All of my cases were submitted by the police (Domestic with children present). We were told it was the police. Although I would assume it was implied consent and no specific officer was named.

The police reports I received under the FOIA also stated CAS was contacted.
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