Welcome to Family Rights Group’s parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post.
I can see that you are worried about what will happen if you allow your daughter’s father to have contact with her when he is released from prison. It is positive that you are seeking advice and thinking about this now rather than waiting until he comes out. Children’s service will need to become involved if there is a possibility of contact and this will have an impact on your family’s life.
It is a good idea for you to think about the following:
• Your daughter’s father was convicted of a serious sexual offence involving a child.
• Be careful not to minimise the offence or the conviction and try not to use language which may blame the victim. If you do, this will be viewed very negatively by children’s services and may mean that you are seen as less able to think about any potential risks to your own child and how to safeguard her.
• Your daughter’s father will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and so will be monitored in the community.
• Being on the sex offenders’ register means that he may be seen as a person who potentially poses a risk to children.
• Any agencies working with him such as police or probation will need to notify children’s services if he is seeking contact with your daughter.
• Your daughter’s father or you can also contact your local children’s services directly to let them know when he is due out and that he would like to be involved in your daughter’s life then.
• It would not be advisable for you to arrange contact until you have discussed this with children’s services and they have assessed the situation and made recommendations in relation to this.
Children’s services’ assessment
is likely to consider whether your daughter’s father could pose a risk of harm to her and how able you are to keep her safe from any risk. They may want you to agree to restrictions being placed on contact until they are satisfied that it is safe and suitable for your daughter. You might also want reassurance that her father is safe to be involved in her care. You can find out more about assessments and plans for children in Family Rights Group’ advice sheets on family support
and child protection
It is really important that you are willing to work with children’s services and show that that you are a protective parent. They will also want to know from your daughter’s father what he has done to address his offending behaviour. He will need to work with them too.
You may find it helpful to look at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation
and Stop it now!
websites as both contain very useful advice and information for parents about child sexual abuse. They help and support all family members affected including offenders and partners/non-abusive parents. You can also call their Freephone helpline
if you would like to speak to someone.
You might find it useful to look at our advice for young parents
including tips about how to work with your child’s social worker
You are being responsible and proactive by thinking in advance about what might happen if contact takes place. It is best that this is assessed in a planned way through you and your daughter's father working with the key professionals, as discussed above.
If you have any further queries please feel free to post again or contact the Freephone advice helpline on 0808 8010366 Monday to Friday 9.30 – 3.00.