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Call 911 if you or the person you are reporting is in immediate danger.
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-5437 (KIDS) to get help if you, or children you know, are being neglected, abused or sexually exploited. If you believe a child is at risk, you must report it. Help is available in multiple languages 24/7.
Child abuse, neglect and exploitation have many different warning signs. Learn to recognize them.
Talk to Child Intervention
Your caseworker can assist you with the dispute resolution options on this page. Reach out to them if you have questions or need help.
If you have a concern or disagree with a decision impacting your child, youth or family, there are 3 initial steps you can take:
Step 1. Talk to your caseworker
- Ask them why the decision was made.
- Explain why you disagree with the decision.
- Try to reach an agreement that satisfies both you and your caseworker – if you cannot, take step 2.
Step 2. Talk to your caseworker’s supervisor
- Tell your caseworker you would like to talk with their supervisor about the decision.
- Get the supervisor’s name and phone number from your caseworker.
- Talk to the supervisor about why the decision was made and the reasons you disagree with it.
- The supervisor may setup a meeting to discuss your concern with themselves, you, and the caseworker.
- Try to reach an agreement that satisfies you both – if you cannot, take step 3.
Step 3. Talk to their manager
- Tell the supervisor you want to talk with their manager about the decision.
- Get the manager’s name and phone number from the supervisor.
- Discuss your concerns with the manager.
- Try to reach an agreement that satisfies you both – if you cannot, consider one or more of the formal options.
Family group conferencing
This process brings families together to make decisions for the child. It lets you bring family and others together to help create a plan to care for your child or youth. Family group conferencing may include:
- your immediate and extended family
- other people who have meaningful relationships with your child or youth
When you choose family group conferencing:
- Your caseworker will complete a referral to a third-party agency that will organize the family group conference.
- You will be invited to attend and you can bring personal supports along as well.
- Everyone gets a turn to express their concerns during the family group conference.
- Then you and your supports work with the agency to create a plan to address the concerns about your child.
- Once you have a plan, it is discussed with your caseworker, who may suggest changes.
- The goal is for you and your caseworker to develop a plan that everyone agrees on.
Mediation is a process you may choose to help solve disagreements with your caseworker. The mediator is a neutral third party. They will support you and everyone involved to solve the problem in a cooperative and respectful way.
Mediation is available at any point during your family’s involvement with Child Intervention. Find out more about the Children’s Services Mediation Program to decide if it is the best option for you.
You can ask for an administrative review if you:
- are a parent, guardian, child or someone directly affected by a Child Intervention decision
- still have concerns or disagree with the decision after talking to Child Intervention
When you choose an administrative review:
- You have 30 days from the date your caseworker made the decision you disagree with to request an administrative review.
- You need to fill out a Request for Administrative Review of a Director’s Decision form and give it your caseworker.
- Ask your caseworker for this form and get their help filling it out, if you like.
- Return the completed form to your caseworker.
- Then a Child Intervention manager and another senior employee who were not involved in making the decision will look at your concerns about the decision.
- They decide whether to uphold, change or cancel the decision.
If you disagree with the outcome of an administrative review, you may have the right to appeal.
An appeal is when you ask an appeal panel to review a decision that has been made about your child or family. The appeal panel:
- is made up of private citizens who are not Government of Alberta employees
- has the authority and training to hear your appeal
- may agree with, change or cancel the Child Intervention decision
Judicial dispute resolution
This is a meeting arranged by the court when you do not agree with an order your caseworker applies for, such as a:
- Supervision Order
- Temporary Guardianship Order
- Permanent Guardianship Order
The judicial dispute resolution meeting happens in the courthouse and may include:
- your lawyer
- your agency support worker
- your child’s lawyer, if they have one
- your caseworker’s lawyer
- a judge
The judge will review the situation and give their opinion on what should happen. If you and your caseworker come to an agreement during this meeting, the judge can grant or dismiss the order.
Talk to the Child and Youth Advocate
If you believe that your child’s rights and interests are not being considered, you may contact with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) at any time.
Learn more through fact sheets and other resources.
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