Court Preparation

Protection of Children Using Drugs (PChAD) Program

I have attended the pre-application information session…now what?

1 Go to your nearest courthouse and apply for a PChAD Protection Order

2 File your application with the court clerk

  • Once your application is filed, the court clerk will tell you the day and time when you need to appear in court (usually within two business days).
  • After your application has been filed, call the Alberta Health Services PChAD coordination line at 1-888-844-5395 to give notice that you are applying for the PChAD Protection Order. You will be asked questions about the child that the application is about, and will be provided with information about the location of court and when you need to attend the court appointment.
  • If the child has other guardians, you must try to inform them that you are applying for a PChAD Protection Order from the court. This can be done through your usual method of communication. You will need to sign an affidavit confirming this prior to attending court.
  • Note: We strongly encourage you to check the box on the application indicating a need for police apprehension (taking the child into custody and transporting them to a protective safe house). This is often necessary if you have specific safety concerns or if you are unsure of your child’s whereabouts.

3 Attend court

  • Arrive early to make sure you find a place to park and the location of the courtroom. You could be in the courthouse for several hours, so make sure you have arranged for enough time off of work, and any childcare arrangements that are needed.
  • Check in with the court clerk 30 minutes before your court time. To find your courtroom, ask the clerk’s office or look up the child’s name on the docket list.
  • In the courtroom, walk to the front when you hear your name called. You may be asked to stand in the witness box. The court clerk will ask you to say and spell your name and to swear or affirm that you will tell the truth when giving your evidence.
  • If the judge grants your PChAD Protection Order, ask for certified copies of the order after court has concluded. You will need to provide these to the police if they are going to apprehend and transport the child as per the PChAD Protection Order. (Be prepared to wait, as it may take time to prepare copies.)

4 Call PChAD to inform them of the outcome

  • Before you leave the courthouse, call the Alberta Health Services PChAD coordination line, at 1-888-844-5395, to inform them of the outcome. Remember that PChAD is a planned admission/ non-emergency program, and that a bed must be booked in a protective safe house before you can contact police to apprehend and transport the child.

How do I prepare evidence for court?

The worksheet provided by your pre-app counsellor (Parent/ Guardian Major Life Areas sheet) outlines the key points to consider and will help guide you when presenting the evidence. Bring any physical evidence you may have (e.g., pictures, screenshots of text messages). Do not bring drugs or drug paraphernalia to court.

I am nervous about going to court. Can someone come with me?

Working on a PChAD application can feel overwhelming. It can help to prepare ahead of time and to talk to your pre-application counsellor. You are allowed to bring someone to court with you for emotional support.

A detailed guide for applicants seeking a PChAD protection order can be found online, at: Forms and Publications, Provincial Court of Alberta.

Major City Courthouses

Calgary Courts Centre
601 – 5 St. S.W.
Calgary, AB, T2P 5P7

Edmonton Law Courts
1A Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2

Red Deer Courthouse
4909 – 48 Avenue
Red Deer, AB T4N 3T5

Lethbridge Courthouse
320 4 St. South,
Lethbridge, AB T1J 1Z8

Grande Prairie Courthouse
10260 – 99 Street
Grande Prairie, AB T8V 2H4