When Families Go To Court For "Care"

Last modified by Samantha DeLenardo on 2014/06/05 15:09


In many countries today, families are turning to courts and tribunals to meet the needs of their children who require complex forms of care. Families may sue government, or one parent may sue the other for support. Litigants have brought, or defended, a variety of claims including arguments that (a) provincial childhood disability supports are at an unfairly low level or unfairly denied; (b) the child and family require increased respite care; (c) child welfare portals must offer various kinds of supports; (d) although the child is over the age of majority, child support is required as the child with complex care needs cannot become financially independent; and (e) there are shortfalls and shortcomings in provincial home care policy offerings. These disputes can take place in different legal settings with different subject areas and levels of legal expertise, such as provincial social benefit and human rights tribunals, provincial courts, family and child welfare court.  That families in Canada are going to court for ‘care’ is emblematic of a crisis in care for this population of children. Sheila and Kiran along with their guest, Brendon Pooran, discuss the implications of families going to court for 'care'. 


Resources from Sheila's presentation:

Adult child support distinction raises Charter issues

BLOOM Parenting kids with Disabilities Blog


Sheila Jennings


Sheila is an Ontario trained lawyer and currently a full time doctoral candidate at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, where her research concerns the legal rights of children with severe disabilities to support. In 2010 Sheila completed her M.A. degree in Critical Disability Studies through the Faculty of Health at York University. Her research for her master’s degree focussed on paediatric home care in the context of human rights and provincial experiences and was supervised by Dr. Dennis Raphael. Sheila has published in the areas of disability rights, family law and child welfare. She is the mother of three young adults. 

Kiran Pohar Manhas


Kiran Pohar Manhas is a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research and with the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary. Kiran has degrees in pharmacy, health research, law and bioethics. Her doctoral research examined the qualitative, legal and ethical implications of transitioning young, ventilator-dependent children from hospital care to complex, pediatric home care. Kiran’s research program is located in the ethical and legal issues related to child health and research. She particularly focuses on research ethics, privacy, caring for medically complex children, and bioethics education. Kiran has secured several peer-reviewed external research grants; has presented at national and international conferences relating to health law, bioethics and home care; and has published in peer-reviewed publications relating to complex pediatric home care, bioethics and research ethics.

Brendon Pooran


Brendon D. Pooran is the founding lawyer at PooranLaw Professional Corporation.  He is involved in all areas of the firm’s practice and regularly provides advice to individuals, families, organizations and government in the  areas of: wills & estates planning; disability law; and corporate law for not-for-profit and charitable organizations.  In addition to being a lawyer, Brendon teaches Critical Disability Law at York University, is the Past-President of Community Living York South and is a founding director of PLAN Toronto.  He is also a lawyer member on the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board and provides performance management solutions to organizations in the human services arena.  Please see www.pooranlaw.com for further information.

Tags: webinar
Created by Samantha DeLenardo on 2014/04/15 18:45