Inventory of Government-Based Family Justice Services

Office of the Children's Lawyer (Ontario)


Type of service
Services for Children

Services offered
The Office of the Children's Lawyer is an independent law office in the Ministry of the Attorney General which delivers programs in the administration of justice on behalf of minors (under the age of 18) with respect to their personal (child protection and custody/access matters) and property rights (civil and estate/trust cases).

Pilot or ongoing service
Ongoing service

Department responsible
Ministry of the Attorney General

How to access this service
Child Protection - The Office of the Children's Lawyer (“OCL”) represents children in protection proceedings when ordered by the court, secure treatment proceedings, openness applications, and Child and Family Services Review Board hearings; provides legal advice for adoptions (children and minor parents); and may provide a lawyer in alternative dispute resolution in child protection files.

Custody/Access - If requested by court order, the OCL may provide legal representation or conduct a clinical investigation and prepare a Report.

Estate/Trust Cases - The OCL must be given notice of a legal case in Ontario that affects a minor’s rights in an estate or trust. The OCL has authority to take a range of steps to protect the minor’s interests.

Civil Cases -The OCL may be ordered by the court to act as Litigation Guardian for a minor where there is no other adult willing and able to do so. Even if a minor is represented by a Litigation Guardian, the OCL must be given notice of certain motions or applications affecting the minor’s rights. The OCL must be served with all applications for guardianship of a minor's property. The OCL reviews proposed settlements referred by the courts in cases involving minors.

Full-time staff lawyers and clinicians are located in Toronto. Authorized fee-for-service lawyers and clinicians work throughout Ontario.
[ Service(s) offered ]

English and French

Further information concerning the Office of the Children’s Lawyer is available on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Web site at

In personal rights cases, fees for our child clients are paid directly from the Office’s budget. In property rights cases, fees may be payable from the estate/trust or settlement proceeds.

Governing legislation/legislative authority
Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C.11, ss. 20.2, 38, 114, 124, 137 and 153.5;

Children's Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C.12, as amended, ss. 47 and 59;

Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C.43, as amended, ss. 89 and 112;

Estates Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.21, as amended, ss. 10, 43, 44 and 45;
Estates Administration Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.22, as amended, ss. 11, 15, 17 and 22;
Family Law Rules, O.Reg.114\99, as amended, rules 4, 21 and 38;
Land Titles Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.L.5, as amended, s. 73;
Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194 as amended, rules 7.03, 7.04, 7.06, 7.07, 7.07.1, 7.08, 7.09, 15.04, 16.02, 24.02, 38.08, 48.14, 59.03, 66.01, 67.01, 72.03, 74.04, 74.05 and 74.18

Contact person(s)
The Office of the Children’s Lawyer
393 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 1E6
416- 314-8000 (tel.)
416-314-8050 (fax)

Date modified: