Contact issue

Worriednanna
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:02 pm

Contact issue

Postby Worriednanna » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:38 pm

SGO is due to be finalised on Thursday (yay!). LA are requesting for mum to continue with contact once a week. Our problem is mum is not prepared to pay to meet the children anywhere (we do not think it right to have contact in our home). Who would be responsible for arranging the contact and paying for it, ourselves or mum? Would the LA expect us to pay for it out of the money we receive for the SGO? Sorry to ask questions on here but our SW is not helpful. Thanks in advance for your time to anyone who can respond.

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ied53
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: Contact issue

Postby ied53 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:17 am

The allowance is for the child NOT for contact. When we fostered we could claim mileage and expenses. This seems a very high level of contact bearing in mind this will be going on for a long period of time. Avoid if you can a contact order so the contact arrangements will be up to you with a suggested level by LA. We insist on a neutral venue and in all honesty of parents don't pay we do nothing. Our recommended level was up to 2 hrs every 8 weeks . Thought to be enough to know bp and little enough so the child felt secure in the placement. After all other family members may want visits to> And when do you have "normal" family life. The LA may well say "you get allowance" but as I said before that is for the child not fuel and entertaining bp. You will be expected to organise contact ideally mutually ( as if). I have a spare PAYG phone parents have that number and no other they can text and I text with contact arrangements. I pre arrange a time the phone will be on and I expect them to confirm they are coming to contact. At the arranged time / venue I am there and I wait 30 Mins . ( have no told them no confirmation and I don't go) No call to explain I go home and they wait until next contact . You will find initially the bp may "play up" as they will try and take charge again. I arranged for a friend to be close by in case I needed help.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 469
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Contact issue

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:59 pm

Dear Worriednanna

Thank you for your further post.

It is good to see that the Special Guardianship Order will be finalised soon but a shame that there are issues about contact outstanding.

Contact would no doubt have been discussed with you during the assessment process as to how you would cope with the child’s mother and ongoing contact. You should explain to the social worker the level of contact which you feel you can cope with especially when child is first placed with you. It is for the social worker to consider what will best for the child. Contact is for the benefit of the child not the parent.

If the Special Guardianship Order is being made in care proceedings, what are the Guardian’s views about the level of contact for the child?

As ied53 says in her post, not having an order for contact means you would have more control, on the other hand if you would prefer to have a specified arrangement for the mother to stick to then ask for an order to be made. It can be written in the order that further contact can be agreed if considered appropriate. Children Services should offer some initial support for contact at least until the child has settled down. The way to keep them involved if there is care proceedings would be for a supervision order to be made so that they continue to monitor for a while. This could be for 6 or 12 months. However, if you would prefer not to have Children Services involvement, please ensure that you agree only to what you feel would be appropriate and manageable.

In respect of payment for contact, if the parent wishes to have contact and find cost an issue then it might be better for contact to be less frequent so they are able to plan and save for contact. ied53 is right that the allowance you will receive is for the child not contact. Discuss this with the social worker so everything is clear from the outset. You are within your rights to say that contact should be at a neutral venue if you do not wish it to be in your home. The social worker should have considered all of these issues with you before now.

I suggest that you ask the social worker for a copy of the local authority’s Family and Friend/Kinship Care policy as this should include the support they will provide for contact. I have included a copy of our advice sheet relating to Special Guardianship Orders and suggest you look at page 39. Also, help with contact arrangements should be set out in the support plan/package prepared by Children Services.

I hope you find this information helpful. However, should you wish to speak to an Adviser you can telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Best wishes,

Suzie


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