You can get a lawyer to represent you for a child protection matter if:
- the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCF), or a delegated Aboriginal agency, has taken or has threatened to take your child or children away from you, or
- there are guardianship or custody and contact or access issues related to a child in the care of MCF (foster care).
Contact the Legal Aid BC Call Centre to apply for services. Or see below to find out if a Parents Legal Centre can help you.
Parents Legal Centres
Parents Legal Centres (PLCs) focuses on helping parents resolve their child protection matters early and collaboratively. They offer services at any stage of the child protection matter, from the first contact with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCF) or a delegated Aboriginal agency until it's apparent the matter can't be resolved through collaborative processes.
The first PLC opened in 2015 in Vancouver. There are now ten locations to serve communities across BC. To find a centre near you, see legal aid locations.
- information and advice on options for resolving child protection issues out of court,
- legal advice and representation, where appropriate, through collaborative processes such as mediation and family case planning conferences,
- legal advice and representation at uncontested hearings,
- an advocate who will support you and go with you to meetings and appointments, and
- referrals to other services, including online resources and other public agencies.
You may be eligible for these services if:
- your income and assets fall within a qualifying range, and
- you're a parent, guardian, or a person standing in the place of a parent.
If you already have a lawyer working with you on your child protection issue, Parents Legal Centres can't help you.