The following excerpt is from The Director of Child, Family and Community Service v. Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C., 2006 BCSC 649 (CanLII):
In Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto v. S(D, supra, the trial judge discusses the custodial rights of foster parents at some length and concludes that the role and status of foster parents differs depending on the stage of the protection proceedings. In particular, he makes a distinction between the role and status of foster parents caring temporarily for children whose preliminary protection issues have not been determined compared to foster parents caring for children who have been made wards of the state. The trial judge concludes that it is not appropriate at the initial stage of protection proceedings for foster parents to be seeking custody of the child. At that stage, the foster parents should be preparing the child for a return to the family. If a best interests comparison between the foster home and the original family was introduced at the beginning of the protection proceedings there would be no substance to the principles of family integrity, rehabilitation, or to priorities for family placements. Moreover, the trust in temporary foster placements would be “in big trouble”. There would be a conflict of interest for foster parents from the outset. Thus, before removal from the family has been justified, foster parents cannot be considered for custody. Once the child has been found to be in need of protection and the family placement has been deemed inadequate, foster parents can be considered for custody of the child. At p.6, the trial judge held: [W]hen permanent wardship is ordered, the hope of reconciliation has been abandoned and the interests of the family and extended family have been dealt with, the foster parents are not only free to apply for permanent care of the child but are usually welcomed in that respect due among other advantages, to the chance of continuity for the child.
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