The Parents Legal Centres (PLC) provides a free lawyer and an advocate to help parents address the social worker's concerns about their children's safety (child protection) early on. Together they can help find solutions that work for the family. This service is available to parents anytime after they're first contacted by the ministry or a delegated Aboriginal agency.
The first PLC opened in 2015 at the Vancouver Provincial Court. There are now ten locations to serve communities across BC.
The Parents Legal Centre provides:
- information and advice about settling child protection issues out of court,
- legal advice and representation through mediation and family case planning conferences,
- legal advice and representation at uncontested hearings (this means you and the ministry have come to an agreement),
- an advocate who will support you and go with you to meetings and appointments, and
- referrals to other services, including online resources and other public agencies.
You may be eligible for these services if:
- your income and assets fall within the limits, and
- you're a parent, guardian, or person taking the place of a parent.