A law called the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act applies to situations where Alberta Child and Family Services have become involved. It lists a number of things that Child and Family Services and the courts who deal with child welfare issues are supposed to consider. This list includes the fact that the well-being of families should be supported and that stable relationships are important. So, if you have a relationship with your grandchild, this should be taken into account.

The guardians of your grandchild can make agreements with Child and Family Services about who can and cannot see them.  You should discuss your desire to see your grandchild with their guardians and Child and Family Services. The guardians have the right to make these decisions. You can apply for a contact order under the Family Law Act (see above) if you are not allowed to see the child.

Unless the guardians agree, Child and Family Services must get a court order before they take a child into their care. The first order they get is called an initial custody order. When a court makes this order, it can include terms about contact with people who have a significant relationship with the child, including grandparents. Within a certain period of time, Child and Family Services has to either return the child to their guardians or get another order from the court. This would be either a temporary guardianship order or a permanent guardianship order. You can apply to the court for a contact order (also called an access order) if the child remains in the care of Child and Family Services.

 

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