How to get help if someone reports you to the ministry
How to get an advocate
Advocates usually work as members of an association. For example, they might work in advocacy centres, community centres, churches, or women's centres. Look for one who's knowledgeable about, and trained in, child protection.
A child protection advocate may help you understand information on the following:
- Ministry of Children and Family Development procedures and investigations
- Your rights and options
- Court process and rules
Child protection advocates can help in the following ways with your case:
- Help you find a lawyer and help you to communicate effectively with your lawyer
- Attend all interviews with the child protection worker and help you communicate with the child protection worker if necessary
- Help you stand up for your rights and challenge the child protection worker if necessary
- Negotiate for you with the ministry
- Help you draft an agreement with the ministry if necessary
- Go to court with you
Advocates aren't lawyers. They can't give you legal advice. Even though an advocate can go to court with you to offer support, they can't be your legal representative.
For help finding an advocate, see the PovNet map of advocates in BC. You can also look for an advocate in your community resource directory or the yellow pages under "Community Services," "Counsellors," "Social Service Organizations," or "Health and Welfare Organizations." Or ask for a referral at one of these organizations in your area:
- Women's centre, advocacy centre, or anti-poverty group
- Aboriginal friendship centre, multicultural agency, or social justice group
- Family service agency, daycare centre, or parent support group
- Victim services, sexual assault centre, or transition house
- Mental health services or community health organization
You may also get useful advice from other parents who've used advocacy services.
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