An Ontario judge has overturned an earlier court decision ordering the 13 LevTahor children be returned to Quebec and placed in foster care.
Ontario Superior Court Judge Lynda Templeton ruled that a children's aid group in Chatham will continue to investigate the families and the matter will now go to provincial court to determine whether the children are in need of protection.
Seven of the children are currently in foster care with Toronto-area families. The others fled with their parents to Guatemala.
Last November, members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community suddenly left their homes in Ste-Agathe, Que. and moved to Chatham, Ont. They fled Quebec just before a court ordered that some of the Lev Tahor children be placed in foster care.
Since then, several of the families have moved on again, with one now staying in Guatemala.
Quebec youth protection authorities spent a year investigating issues related to hygiene and health, as well as allegations that children in the Lev Tahor sect weren't learning according to the provincial curriculum.
The group has denied all allegations of mistreatment.