Before the hearing

Hearing location and date

Hearings are usually held in a community near you. Before the hearing happens, the Appeals Secretariat may arrange a telephone meeting with you and a person from Child Intervention. They will check details about the appeal and answer questions about the appeal process.

Then the Appeals Secretariat sends you a scheduling letter with the date, time and hearing location. You, or a person authorized to act on your behalf, must take part in the hearing.

Contact the Appeals Secretariat when you get their letter if you:

  • have to change the hearing date and pick a new date that you, Child Intervention and the appeal panel agree on
  • cannot go in person and need another way to take part in the hearing
  • want to give someone authority to act on your behalf, if needed, by providing an Authorization form (PDF, 71 KB)

If something comes up at the last minute and you or the person acting on your behalf cannot be at the hearing, tell the Appeals Secretariat immediately.

If you do not take part, the appeal panel may hear your appeal without you and make a decision. If they make a decision it is final. This means your right to appeal will end and your appeal will be closed.

Your information and role

The Appeals Secretariat’s scheduling letter tells you how to submit information that supports your appeal. This must happen before the hearing based on the deadline in the letter.

During the hearing, your role is to:

  • present your case to the appeal panel based on information you already submitted to support your position
  • explain why the appeal panel should decide in your favour
  • bring witnesses, if you choose, to support your case

Appeal package

The Appeals Secretariat sends an appeal package to you, Child Intervention and the appeal panel at least one week before the hearing. Make sure to:

  • read this package when it comes – it includes copies of all the documents:
    • you gave to support your appeal
    • Child Intervention provided to support their decision
  • bring the package with you to the appeal hearing

Contact the Appeals Secretariat if you:

  • do not get the package or documents are missing
  • need help reviewing the package in a language other than English – the Appeals Secretariat can give you information about organizations that may be able to help you review it before the hearing

At the hearing

Appeal hearings are usually held weekdays from 9 am to 4:30 pm. These people will take part:

  • 3 appeal panel members including 1 chair and 2 members
  • you and/or the person acting on your behalf or anyone you said would be there to assist you
  • someone from Child Intervention and any people acting on their behalf or assisting them

What takes place

Usually, the hearing happens as follows:

  1. The chair introduces everyone and goes over the rules, then asks if:
    • you and the person from Child Intervention understand the decision being appealed
    • anyone objects to the people on the panel or their right to decide your appeal
  2. If there are no objections, the chair asks if everyone received the appeal package and if they can confirm all their documents were included. The chair also asks if anyone has information that was not included in the appeal package that the appeal panel should consider. If there is, then you or the person from Child Intervention can ask for:
    • copies of the new information
    • a short break to review it
    • the hearing to be moved to another day to allow more time to review it
  3. The person from Child Intervention and their supporters present their information first. You and the panel will:
    • let them speak without interrupting them to hear why they made their decision
    • be able to ask questions after each person speaks
  4. Next, you or the person acting on your behalf, and others who support your appeal will present your information. The person from Child Intervention and the panel will:
    • let you speak without interrupting you to hear why you disagree with the decision that was made
    • be able to ask questions after each person speaks
  5. The chair asks the person from Child Intervention, then you or the person acting on your behalf, to summarize your information and the decision you would like the panel to make.
  6. The chair ends the hearing and lets you know when you can expect the panel's decision.

After the hearing

Once the appeal panel makes a decision:

  • you will get a letter after the hearing date with the appeal panel’s decision and reasons for the decision
  • the appeal panel’s decision is final – this means they cannot look at new information or change their decision
  • you cannot file another appeal on their decision or Child Intervention’s decision

Concerns about the hearing

If you think the appeal hearing was unfair or the appeal panel’s decision does not follow the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFE Act) and Regulations, you can:

Option 1. File a complaint to the Ombudsman

You can make a complaint to the Alberta Ombudsman’s office. They cannot reverse or change the appeal panel's decision, but they can:

  • review the appeal process
  • make recommendations, including that an appeal panel re-hear the case

You also have one of these options available, depending on the decision you appealed:

Option 2. Apply for a judicial review

You can apply for a judicial review if you appealed Child Intervention’s decision about a child who is under a Temporary Guardianship Order, Permanent Guardianship Order or agreement:

  • being removed from or placed in a licensed residential facility such as a foster home, group care or with a specialized caregiver or facility that supports complex needs

If your appeal was about other decisions the appeal panel reviewed, you may consider Option 3 below.

When you apply for a judicial review, it happens through the Court of Queen’s Bench. The Court cannot reverse or change an appeal panel decision, however they can decide if the appeal panel:

  • acted within its legal authority
  • followed a fair process
  • made a reasonable decision based on the situation

After a judicial review, the Court:

  • cannot make a new decision
  • will send the case back for the appeal panel to hear again if it agrees the hearing is unfair – if this happens, different panel members may hear your appeal

If you wish to apply for a judicial review, you must:

Option 3. Appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench

You may choose this option if the decision you appealed does not relate to Option 2. When you appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench, they can agree with, change, or reverse an appeal panel decision.

If you choose to appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench, you must:

  • make sure to file within 45 days after the appeal panel’s decision was made
  • use a Notice of Appeal – Appeal Panel Decision, Form 41, Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (PDF, 35 KB) and file it with the Court of Queen’s Bench
  • serve the appeal panel with a copy of the filed Notice of Appeal (the Appeals Secretariat receives the copy on behalf of the panel)
  • decide if you need a lawyer to assist you – if you do, then contact the Law Society of Alberta’s referral service at 1-800-661-1095 or Legal Aid Alberta at 1-866-845-3425 for help finding one

Within 3 months after filing the appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench, you must provide the Court and the appeal panel with:

  • copies of the complete appeal package that was considered by the appeal panel
  • a copy of the appeal panel’s decision
  • transcripts of the appeal panel hearing if it was recorded by a court reporter – you are responsible for requesting and paying for it

Review the CYFE Act and the Court Rules and Forms Regulation to find out more about the Court of Queen’s Bench appeal process and your duties.

Contact

The Appeals Secretariat is a neutral government office that runs separately from Child Intervention.

To connect with the Appeals Secretariat:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed 12 to 1 pm and statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2709
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-1088
Email: css.appealssec-cyfe-ccl@gov.ab.ca

Address:
2nd floor, Agronomy Centre
6903 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5Z2