Temporary Guardianship Orders (TGO)
The Director of Child and Family Services may determine that a child is in need of intervention and that once services have been provided to the child and the family, the child may be returned to the care of their family within a reasonable period of time. Services will be provided to the child and to the child’s guardians while the child resides in foster care. Foster care may be provided by the Government of Alberta through their paid Foster care providers or by relatives of the family through kinship care.
The Director will apply to the Court for a Temporary Guardianship Order (“TGO”) pursuant to Section 31 of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act. A TGO appoints the Director as a guardian of the child until a final determination is made with respect to the child. During the term of the TGO, the Director and the child’s guardian are joint guardians. TGOs are typically granted for 6 months, but may be granted for shorter periods.
A TGO can be granted in Docket Court or after a Hearing. A Court may include terms in a TGO with respect to:
- Access between the child and a guardian and any other person who the child is close to
- When the Director must consult with the other guardian on matters affecting the child
- Participation by the child and/or guardian in any remedial program
- Assessment of the guardian
- Any other term the Court considers necessary and may include
- Abstaining from drinking or using drugs
- Attending individual or relationship counselling
- Attending anger management courses
- Attending domestic violence counselling
- Getting a job
- Attending parenting courses
Children over the age of 12 years old must give consent to any access ordered by the Court.
Section 32 of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act allows the Director, a child or a guardian to apply to the Court to review, renew, vary or terminate a TGO. The Court will consider whether the circumstances that caused the child to be in need of intervention have changed, whether the guardians have complied with the TGO and whether services have been provided.
The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement specifies the total cumulative time that a child may be in the care of the Director. This varies depending on the age of the child. For instance, children under the age of 6 can be in the care of the Director for up to 9 months while children over the age of 6 can be in the care of the Director for up to 12 months. However, the Court may grant a further TGO if the Director continues to be of the opinion the child can be returned to their guardian within a reasonable period of time and there are good and sufficient reasons to grant a further TGO.