contact orders

nanasbutterflys
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:17 am

contact orders

Postby nanasbutterflys » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:40 am

Hiya finally got the sgo and bd had tantrum nothing new. anyway dad got a contact order and we have a year supervision order as well to help with contacts. Dad was suppose to be having fortnightly contact for 2 hours which he requested in court. However when its come down to contact time dad is suddenly unable to do this,,, so now ss are saying they are going to give dad the opportunity of 6 times a year contact. Wasn't this suppose to go back to court as it was the judge who agreed the contact order in the beginning or can they just allow him to start having 6 times a year. Myself and my husband are very confused new sgo carers and fed up of dad pulling all the stops all the time and getting his own way. We want to know exactly what position we stand in all this as her carers don't we have a say

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Robin D
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: contact orders

Postby Robin D » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:04 am

All I can say about dad is 'What a surprise' - Not!

Many birth parents fight tooth and nail for every scrap of contact as its 'their right', but then fail to deliver when it comes to it. We had contact ordered once a month, parent wanted fortnightly despite the fact that she had missed several monthlies during the case.

In a matter of months we were down to about every four months, then it just stopped completely for several years. :cry:

The reality is that you can't force the parent to engage properly with the child.

I suspect social services think they are doing the child, and possibly you a favour. Much much better for the child to have contact to a reasonable pattern at a lower rate, than a high rate of contact which doesn't carry any commitment from the parent. Each time its a 'no show' or contact is poor, the child suffers badly. Many here will tell you that they no longer tell the child when contact is planned to avoid that sense of rejection. It doesn't need to go back to court unless the other party wants to argue about it being reduced. It's generally accepted, although not explicitly said, that its a maximum level of contact that is ordered.

And yes, you do have a huge say as you have the SGO. I suggest you talk to the SW to ensure you understand their thinking and that they then take your views into account.

Good luck.

Robin
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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ied53
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: contact orders

Postby ied53 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:32 am

as it is a court order the CS should take it to court to vary the order so they pay costs. the draw back there is the order could be varied too much. Better to let the CS sort it but insist any changes are in writing and the wording needs to be will not increase but any further changes contact will continue to be reduced to a level the parent can cope with.

We have a contact order 2 hrs every 8 weeks "Mother" wrote to us via her solicitor requesting a reduction as she could not afford to come. I told her I do not respond to solicitors letters and she needs to talk to me. We agreed 4 times a year. She "failed " 1 for 3 yrs running so I wrote reducing it to 3 as this was a level she managed and the girls were not distressed by her failure then. We have had the same dates continuously ( changes by mutual agreement) . This year she has been once and made no attempt to contact the children for birthdays etc so all contact has now ceased. If she wants to sort it now she will have to take me to court. I have kept a record of everything from the start. ( 10 yrs this year) I can evidence everything. Contact is about the children not the parents. My girls have made the decision for themselves.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: contact orders

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:35 pm

Dear nanasbutterflys

Congratulations on having the Special Guardianship Order (SGO). I am sure you are both very happy to have the process finally over and the grandchildren with you.

I am sorry that you are experiencing difficulties with the birth father over contact. As you have been told by ied53 and Robin D you now have the SGO and you can make decisions about contact. Is there an actual order for contact or was it part of the final care plan? Children Services are there to help and support you in respect of contact so they can make suggestions about how contact is managed but this should be in consultation with you and your husband as Special Guardians.

If there is an order for contact it depends on the wording as it is expected that contact will be flexible in some cases. Usually, if an order is to be changed it should go back to court but if the birth father is unhappy about the change he can take it back to court. Children Services are able to consider what is best for the child in respect of contact since there is a Supervision Order.

I am including here a copy of our advice sheet about what a SGO means to birth parents for your information. This should give you an idea of what the parents’ position is now there is an order in place for the children to be with you.

Should you wish to speak to an Adviser, please do 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.

I hope you will find this information helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie


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