Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton v R. (K.), 2014 ONSC 5982

Background

This was a summary judgment motion brought by the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton.  The Society was seeking an Order of Crown wardship with no access to the child M. (R.), born April 15, 2013.  K. (R.) is the mother of M.(R.).  The Society had concerns that the child was being exposed to domestic violence, that the mother had substance abuse issues, was not providing a home that was safe for the child and that she neglected the child.

The child was apprehended by the Society in July 2013.  Further, from November 2013 onward, the Mother had been engaged in criminal activity that had “resulted in her being incarcerated on five occasions” (paragraph 6).  In addition, the Mother had struggled with being able to live in a stable and secure home since at least 2011 as she had moved in rapid succession between hotels, friends and shelters.

Since the child has been in the care of the Society, the Mother has only attended 11 visits in total.  Many of the missed visits were due to her periods of incarceration, but other missed visits were without reasonable excuse.

Analysis

The Court commenced its analysis by reviewing the law with respect to summary judgments in child protection matters, in particular the case of Children`s Aid Society of Hamilton v M. (A.), 2012 ONSC 6828.  Upon completion of said review, the Court found that “Permeating through the Child and Family Services Act is the underlying theme of the need for child time sensitivity when considering the protection, safety and well-being of children” (paragraph 27).

The Court held, “Child development cannot wait for a parent to deal with multiple issues of parental and personal dysfunction when there are no indicators in the evidence that a parent can deal with those issues” (paragraph 27).  In applying the above-stated principles, the Court stated that the “mother has been dealing with significant multiple issues of transience, substance abuse, and major mental health concerns for many years” (paragraph 27).  The Court further found that there are no details and/or evidence that the child’s needs can be met, and the risks of harm “cannot be reduced from their high level within any reasonable period of time” as the Mother has “not shown any sustainable gains over many years” (paragraph 27).

The child needs “permanency planning” (paragraph 28), as the child has been in the care of the Society for approximately 15 months.  Further, the Court found that the child was doing well in his foster placement and there was reason to believe that he would thrive in “a permanent, loving and nurturing home” (paragraph 28).  The Court further found that access would impair permanency planning in the circumstances of this case.

Given the above, the Court found that there was no genuine issue for trial and made a summary judgment order for Crown wardship with no access.

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