Agreement for a Hear the Child Interview and Report


Date:


Between:


- and -

 

 

&

Riverdale Mediation Ltd. (Riverdale)

 

 

  1. The Parents or Guardians wish to have the views of the child(ren) named below heard:


  2. The Interviewer is a neutral and impartial person who will listen to the views of the Child(ren) and report those views back to the Parents or Guardians and the Court (if involved) to assist them in making decisions about the Child(ren).

  3. The Interviewer is a roster member of the BC Hear the Child Society, and a roster member of the Ontario Hear the Child Society, an Affiliate of the BC Hear the Child Society

 

THEREFORE WE AGREE THAT:

  1. The Interviewer will listen to the views of the Childr(en), as expressed by the Child(ren), to assist the Parents or Guardians and the Court to make decisions about the Childr(en).
  2. The role of the Interviewer is to report on the responses of the Child(ren) to questions regarding their parenting arrangements. The Interviewer does not analyze or evaluate the responses of a Child(ren) nor does the Interviewer make any recommendations based on those responses.

  3. The Child(ren)’s participation is voluntary and the Child(ren) will not be forced to share their views.

  4. The views of the Child(ren) will be included in a written Hear the Child Report (the “Report”).

  5. The Interviewer will only include in the Report what the Child(ren) agrees to share.

  6. The timing of the release of the report is at the discretion of the Interviewer.

  7. If the Child(ren) disclose(s) information during the interview that indicates the Child(ren) is/are in need of protection as set out in section 125 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (attached as Schedule A), then the Interviewer must immediately report this to a Children’s Aid Society.

  8. Subject to paragraph 5, the Interviewer is at liberty to share the Child(ren)'s views with:
    1. any of the Parents or Guardians;
    2. a lawyer for any of the Parents or Guardians;
    3. the Court, mediator, arbitrator or parenting coordinator as appropriate;
    4. a lawyer for a child (if applicable);
    5. any other person agreed to by the Parents or Guardians and the Child(ren); or
    6. authorized users for research and evaluation purposes, (only aggregate non-identifying information)
  9. The Child(ren) will be informed, by the Parents or Guardians, about the interview.

  10. The Parents or Guardians will not coach, influence or tell the Child(ren) what to say during the interview.

  11. The Child(ren) will not be pressed for details after the interview or after the Report has been provided.

  12. The Child(ren) are not to be rewarded or suffer any negative consequences as a result of the Report.

  13. The Parents or Guardians will cooperate in the transportation of the Child(ren) to and from the interview.

  14. If the Interviewer is unable to meet with the Child(ren) in person, the Parents or Guardians will ensure that the Child(ren) is/are able to speak with the Interviewer, either by telephone or video conferencing, in private.

  15. If video conferencing is used, the Parents or Guardians will ensure, prior to each interview, that the equipment is in working order and that the each of the Child(ren) is/are prepared and comfortable using the equipment. In addition, the Parents or Guardians agree not to record the interview.

  16. The Interviewer will be paid in advance of release of the Report the sum of $750.00 for the first child and $750.00 per child thereafter (plus applicable taxes and expenses) for all work performed including meeting with Child(ren), reporting on the Child(ren)’s views and distributing the Report. If incurred, travel expenses are extra.

  17. The Parents or Guardians have the right to terminate the Interviewer’s services, upon written notice to the Interviewer. If the Parents or Guardians terminate the Interviewer’s services, they will pay the Interviewer’s fees and expenses up to the date of termination of those services. Upon the Interviewer’s request the Parents or Guardians will sign any form required by the court, mediator, arbitrator or parenting coordinator advising that the Parents or Guardians have terminated the Interviewer’s services.

  18. If the interview process is terminated by the Interviewer, prior to the release of the Report, then the Parents or Guardians will be required to pay the Interviewer’s fees and expenses up to the date of termination of those services, as determined by the Interviewer and the Interviewer will sign any form required by the court, mediator, arbitrator or parenting coordinator confirming same on request of either Parent or Guardian.

  19. The Parents or Guardians agree that the Interviewer will not be called as a witness in any legal proceeding by any of the Parents or Guardians. The Parents or Guardians are aware that regardless of this Agreement, the Court has the discretionary power to compel any person to give evidence and, accordingly, could possibly require the Interviewer to give evidence. If the Interviewer is required to attend Court, the Parents or Guardians will be responsible to pay the Interviewer $500.00 per hour (plus applicable taxes and expenses) for all preparation and Court time and will ask the Court to determine apportionment of responsibility for the Interviewer’s costs.

 

The following Parents or Guardians by their signature, consent to the Child(ren) being interviewed:

 

Party Name  
Date

Party Name  
Date

 

The Interviewer confirms the terms of this Agreement:

Interviewer Name  

Dated this   of   20  

 

 

SCHEDULE A

Excerpt from the Child, Youth and Family Services Act

 

Duty to report child in need of protection

125 (1)  Despite the provisions of any other Act, if a person, including a person who performs professional or official duties with respect to children, has reasonable grounds to suspect one of the following, the person shall immediately report the suspicion and the information on which it is based to a society:

  1. The child has suffered physical harm inflicted by the person having charge of the child or caused by or resulting from that person’s,
  2. failure to adequately care for, provide for, supervise or protect the child, or
  3. pattern of neglect in caring for, providing for, supervising or protecting the child.
  4. There is a risk that the child is likely to suffer physical harm inflicted by the person having charge of the child or caused by or resulting from that person’s,
  5. failure to adequately care for, provide for, supervise or protect the child, or
  6. pattern of neglect in caring for, providing for, supervising or protecting the child.
  7. The child has been sexually abused or sexually exploited by the person having charge of the child or by another person where the person having charge of the child knows or should know of the possibility of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation and fails to protect the child.
  8. There is a risk that the child is likely to be sexually abused or sexually exploited as described in paragraph 3.

  4.1  The child has been sexually exploited as a result of being subjected to child sex trafficking.

  4.2  There is a risk that the child is likely to be sexually exploited as a result of being subjected to child sex trafficking.

  1. The child requires treatment to cure, prevent or alleviate physical harm or suffering and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide the treatment or access to the treatment, or, where the child is incapable of consenting to the treatment under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, the treatment on the child’s behalf.
  2. The child has suffered emotional harm, demonstrated by serious,
  3. anxiety,
  4. depression,

          iii.  withdrawal,

  1. self-destructive or aggressive behaviour, or
  2. delayed development,

and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the emotional harm suffered by the child results from the actions, failure to act or pattern of neglect on the part of the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child.

  1. The child has suffered emotional harm of the kind described in subparagraph 6 i, ii, iii, iv or v and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide services or treatment or access to services or treatment, or, where the child is incapable of consenting to treatment under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, treatment to remedy or alleviate the harm.
  2. There is a risk that the child is likely to suffer emotional harm of the kind described in subparagraph 6 i, ii, iii, iv or v resulting from the actions, failure to act or pattern of neglect on the part of the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child.
  3. There is a risk that the child is likely to suffer emotional harm of the kind described in subparagraph 6 i, ii, iii, iv or v and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide services or treatment or access to services or treatment, or, where the child is incapable of consenting to treatment under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, treatment to prevent the harm.
  4. The child suffers from a mental, emotional or developmental condition that, if not remedied, could seriously impair the child’s development and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide the treatment or access to the treatment, or where the child is incapable of consenting to the treatment under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, treatment to remedy or alleviate the condition.
  5. The child’s parent has died or is unavailable to exercise the rights of custody over the child and has not made adequate provision for the child’s care and custody, or the child is in a residential placement and the parent refuses or is unable or unwilling to resume the child’s care and custody.
  6. The child is younger than 12 and has killed or seriously injured another person or caused serious damage to another person’s property, services or treatment are necessary to prevent a recurrence and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide services or treatment or access to services or treatment, or, where the child is incapable of consenting to treatment under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to treatment.
  7. The child is younger than 12 and has on more than one occasion injured another person or caused loss or damage to another person’s property, with the encouragement of the person having charge of the child or because of that person’s failure or inability to supervise the child adequately. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (1); 2020, c. 25, Sched. 1, s. 26 (6); 2021, c. 21, Sched. 3, s. 3.

Ongoing duty to report

(2)  A person who has additional reasonable grounds to suspect one of the matters set out in subsection (1) shall make a further report under subsection (1) even if the person has made previous reports with respect to the same child. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (2).

Person must report directly

(3)  A person who has a duty to report a matter under subsection (1) or (2) shall make the report directly to the society and shall not rely on any other person to report on the person’s behalf. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (3).

Duty to report does not apply to older children

(4)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of a child who is 16 or 17, but a person may make a report under subsection (1) or (2) in respect of a child who is 16 or 17 if either a circumstance or condition described in paragraphs 1 to 11 of subsection (1) or a prescribed circumstance or condition exists. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (4).

Offence

(5)  A person referred to in subsection (6) is guilty of an offence if,

  (a)  the person contravenes subsection (1) or (2) by not reporting a suspicion; and

  (b)  the information on which it was based was obtained in the course of the person’s professional or official duties. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (5).

Professionals and officials

(6)  Subsection (5) applies to every person who performs professional or official duties with respect to children including,

  (a)  a health care professional, including a physician, nurse, dentist, pharmacist and psychologist;

  (b)  a teacher, person appointed to a position designated by a board of education as requiring an early childhood educator, school principal, social worker, family counsellor, youth and recreation worker, and operator or employee of a child care centre or home child care agency or provider of licensed child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;

  (c)  a religious official;

  (d)  a mediator and an arbitrator;

  (e)  a peace officer and a coroner;

   (f)  a lawyer; and

  (g)  a service provider and an employee of a service provider. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (6).

Volunteer excluded

(7)  In clause (6) (b),

“youth and recreation worker” does not include a volunteer. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (7).

Director, officer or employee of corporation

(8)  A director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in the commission of an offence under subsection (5) by an employee of the corporation is guilty of an offence. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (8).

Penalty

(9)  A person convicted of an offence under subsection (5) or (8) is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (9).

Section overrides privilege; protection from liability

(10)  This section applies although the information reported may be confidential or privileged, and no action for making the report shall be instituted against a person who acts in accordance with this section unless the person acts maliciously or without reasonable grounds for the suspicion. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (10).

Solicitor-client privilege

(11)  Nothing in this section abrogates any privilege that may exist between a lawyer and the lawyer’s client. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (11).

Conflict

(12)  This section prevails despite anything in the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1, s. 125 (12).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2020, c. 25, Sched. 1, s. 26 (6) - 01/03/2021

2021, c. 21, Sched. 3, s. 3 - 01/10/2021

Society to assess and verify report of child in need of protection

126 (1)  A society that receives a report under section 125 that a child, including a child in the society’s care or supervision, is or may be in need of protection shall as soon as possible carry out an assessment as prescribed and verify the reported information, or ensure that the information is assessed and verified by another society.

Protection from liability

(2)  No action or other proceeding for damages shall be instituted against an officer or employee of a society, acting in good faith, for an act done in the execution or intended execution of the duty imposed on the society by subsection (1) or for an alleged neglect or default of that duty.

 

 

 

SCHEDULE B

Ontario Hear the Child Society,
an Affiliate of

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Document name: Agreement for a Hear the Child Interview and Report
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January 3, 2023 1:13 pm EDTAgreement for a Hear the Child Interview and Report Uploaded by Cheryl Ward - [email protected] IP 2607:fea8:8660:8300:4003:cbba:2260:d13d