What is the priority of a statutory risk hearing before a finding is made?

Ontario, Canada

The following excerpt is from Family and Children's Services of Guelph v. C.M., 2016 ONCJ 685 (CanLII):

[49] In context of the priority of statutory principles, R.L v. Children’ s Aid Society of Niagara Region specifically stipulates that permanency planning must give way to the principles enunciated in subsections 1(2) and 57(3) and (4) before a finding is made. And to those who will argue that a child could languish in a temporary foster placement for a very long time before a risk hearing is held, the legislature addressed this factor when it established the 120-day timeline for such hearing.

[50] In my mind, the direction in paragraph [38] of R.L v. Children’ s Aid Society of Niagara Region supports a short-term placement in every case where an apprehension occurs. I am aware of the opinion among attachment experts that the more a child is moved, the harder it will be for him or her to establish a healthy attachment but societies have to accept that the statute may give them no choice.

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