how old does a child have to be before social services loose control

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how old does a child have to be before social services loose control

Post by Losthope » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:57 pm

my child lives with their other parent although they are desperate to come back to me, social services have stopped me having any contact with my child, not even written. What age does the child have to be before they can just say I'm doing what I want to do and sod social services. I.e. Can social services stop parental contact when the child reaches 16? Thank you.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: how old does a child have to be before social services loose control

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:35 pm

Dear Losthope

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post.

I am sorry that you are not having any contact with your child. Unfortunately, you have not given very much information in your post about why your child was removed from your care. Is your child living with the other parent under a care order or a child arrangement order?

As you say that children’s services (new name for social services) have stopped contact, I assume that there is a care order which allows them to share parental responsibility and make decisions about your child. If there is a care order then this will last until your child is 18 years old unless it is discharged before then. Please see our advice sheet about the duties children’s services have when a child is in the care system.

A child’s wishes and feelings should be considered by children’s services when making decisions about the child. The weight given to these wishes will depend on the age of the child and what is considered to be in the child’s best interest. In answer to your question, if a 16 year old wishes to have contact then the child can ask for that contact to take place and perhaps decide to have contact but this will depend on different factors such as, the child’s understanding, the effect of contact and of course the reasons why contact was stopped in the first place.

It is possible to ask the court to look at contact with a child in care by making an application. Please see our advice sheet. I think it would be helpful for you to speak with the independent reviewing officer (IRO) assigned to your child if there is a care order. See an explanation of independent reviewing officer

Your child may be in the other parent’s care under a child arrangement order and, if so, then it will be the parent who has the order that can make decisions about contact. In these circumstances, children’s services cannot stop contact with the child but can advise the parent with whom the child lives whether contact would give rise to safeguarding concerns.

If your child is not in care, you can make an application to the court for a child arrangement order for contact. The child’s wishes and feelings about contact will be taken into account by the court if you made an application. Should you decide to make an application you can get advice from Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

In both situations a child is also able to say whether or not they wish to have contact.

If your child is subject to a care order and you wish to have more advice from an adviser on our advice line, you can telephone on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes


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