Thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear that children’s services are looking to reduce your contact with your children who are in long-term foster care under a care order
Do you know why children’s services want to change the arrangements for you to see your children from every month to every two months? Often when children are in long term foster care contact is reduced but this should be based on the children’s individual needs and circumstances. Perhaps the social worker has suggested that this is to allow the children to settle into their foster placement(s)?
If the letter you have received from the social worker does not explain why they want to change the arrangements do get in touch with them straight away to ask to discuss this further and for them to give you written reasons why they think this is in the children’s best interests. You can also ask the social worker (and think about) whether there is anything you could do differently in relation to contact. You can also involve your children’s Independent Reviewing Officer
who is responsible for reviewing your children’s care plan
(including the arrangements for you all to keep in touch with each other).
I am not sure from your post if the court made a contact order
when making the care order so do check this out including with the solicitor who represented you at the time if need be.
Do have a look at Family Rights Group’s advice sheet on contact with children in care
as well as looking at our information on duties on children’s services when children are in the care system
which contain lots of useful information.
You can think about making a complaint
if you disagree with children’s services plans or how they are going about them and can consider going back to court to seek a contact order. You can find a solicitor on the Law Society find a solicitor
You are also worried that your children are unhappy in care and not listened to by children’s services. Maybe they would benefit from having an advocate
to help them? There might be a children’s rights officer in your local authority who can provide advocacy for children or you can contact the social worker and/or Independent Reviewing Officer about this who could arrange with a voluntary organisation such as National Youth Advocacy Service
or Barnardo’s Child Advocacy Services
If you would like to speak to an adviser please call the Freephone helpline on 0808 8010366 Mon-Fri 9.30 – 3.00.
With best wishes