Reporting to the Senior Legal Counsel, the Legal Counsel is responsible for providing comprehensive legal consultation, representation and training for the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) and its staff in all matters related to the execution of its mandate under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA).
Main duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Provides legal advice and services to Halton CAS staff on the interpretation and application of the CYFSA and other legislation pertaining to child welfare or family law
• Acts as a legal resource to Workers and Service Supervisors providing legal consultation and advice supporting the development of desired case management focused on child protection outcomes
• Participates in case conferences and provides legal opinion to inform service instructions that direct the agency’s approach to case management
Court Related Activities
• Prepares cases for presentation in court by gathering all information and evidence, drafting and/or reviewing pleadings, affidavits, briefs, orders and other documents for filing with the court and preparing witnesses
• Represents the Halton CAS in all levels of the courts and tribunals in relation to CYFSA, Children’s Law Reform Act, Family Law Act and other statutes in both contested and uncontested matters including adjournments, contested motions, motions for summary judgment, hearings, conferences, motions for disclosure and trials, appeals and adoption
• Prepares and documents all legal issues, processes and case activities/ dispositions in accordance with established procedures
• Negotiates settlements where possible
• Represents the agency with respect to any litigation involving disclosure of agency records
• Represents the Halton CAS in Child Abuse Register expunction hearings
• Represents the Halton CAS in all matters before the Child and Family Services Review Board including complaint reviews
• Prepares Statements of Agreed Facts, Settlement Conference Briefs and Trial Management Conference Briefs
• Assists workers as required in their preparation to appear on family law and related criminal matters
• Liaises with external lawyers and/or the Crown with respect to court applications
• Demonstrates behaviours, actions and attitudes that are consistent with Halton CAS’s vision, mission and values
• Establishes positive relationships with key internal and external stakeholders
• Shares information according to privacy and/or confidentiality guidelines
• Respects ethnic, spiritual, linguistic, familial and cultural differences
Other Related Activities
• Prepares and presents training programs for Halton CAS staff, foster parents and others as applicable regarding pertinent aspects of the CYFSA or other legislation related to Halton CAS business
• Knows and adheres to all applicable Halton CAS policies, procedures as well as relevant legislation and administrative practices
• Participates in special projects and performs other duties as required
Knowledge, Education, Experience, Skills and Attributes
• Bachelor of Law Degree and membership in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada
• A minimum of 1-2 years of experience representing children, parents or a Children’s Aid Society in CFSA proceedings
• Familiarity and experience with ADR processes will be considered a preferred asset.
• Excellent knowledge of case preparation, presentation and litigation techniques and alternative dispute resolution strategies
• Advanced knowledge of legislation governing child welfare including Child, Youth and Family Services Act, Family Law Rules, Rules of Evidence, Ontario Courts of Justice Act, regulations and related statutes and OACAS Standards
• Basic knowledge of relevant Halton CAS industry computer applications
• A satisfactory Police Records Check is required
• Valid Driver’s License and access to a reliable motor vehicle with appropriate liability insurance is preferred
• Excellent written/oral communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to provide constructive, meaningful and timely interaction with all levels of staff
• Excellent ability to think analytically, make decisions of sound judgment and provide legal advice, often in crisis or emergency situations
• Solid understanding and commitment to quality service and best practice
• Flexible, adaptable and responsive to change
• Acts with integrity, trustworthiness, humility, transparency and compassion
Halton CAS has a vaccination policy and procedure in place. As a condition of employment, new employees are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they have a valid reason not to be vaccinated based on a protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The successful candidate will be made an offer of employment on the condition of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated is defined as having received all of the required doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine and having received the final dose at least 14 days before your employment start date. The candidate will be asked to provide Halton CAS with proof of full vaccination, prior to the candidate’s employment start date. Acceptable proof includes an Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 vaccine receipt which you can obtain through the Provincial portal https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/, or other government-issued vaccine passport or certification.
As described above, the requirement to be fully vaccinated is subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code. If the candidate is unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for a reason protected by the Code, requests for accommodation from the vaccine policy will be assessed on a case by case basis and will be subject to Halton CAS’ accommodation process.
The Halton Children’s Aid Society is an equal opportunity employer.
The Halton Children’s Aid Society is committed to fostering an inclusive, accessible environment where all employees and members of the public are respected. We are dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.
We thank all applicants for their interest in the Halton Children’s Aid Society, we will only contact those selected for an interview. All interviewed candidates will be asked to provide a minimum of two supervisory references.
We are committed to a selection process and work environment that is inclusive and barrier free. Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Applicants need to make any accommodation requests for the interview or selection process known in advance by contacting the Human Resources Department at 905-333-4441 ext. 0575. Human Resources will work with the applicant and the interview committee to arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodation for the selection process which will enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner.