Written Consent

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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:30 am

Written Consent

Post by LnD » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi everyone,

Just like to say "Hi". Unfortunately we find ourselves qualifying for membership in that we have our eldest accommodated under S20. I will no doubt explain more in time as it is quite a lengthy and complex story. It will also come of little surprise to many here the "up-cocks" and lack of procedure erros made by local CS.

For the moment I would like to get some clarification. We have over the passed few months signed many consent forms; to be accommodated, to recieve medical treatment etc etc. Just last week our SW got it in her head to interview our youngest at school in the presence of a Detective Sgt. Little if any regard was given to the fact that he has an Autism diagnosis, but that's another issue. My question is, I know they should ask permission and can over rule if they feel its an "exceptional circumstance", but given all the other consent forms I am surprised that we haven't been asked to sign one to cover this. Is verbal consent sufficient or should it have been written? Either way consent was not given, but it will be easier to prove if verbal consent is not acceptable.



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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2660
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Written Consent

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:57 am

Hello LnD

Welcome to the parents board. My name is Suzie and I am an adviser at Family Rights Group.

You say that your oldest child is currently accommodated by children’s services under section 20 of the Children Act. Children’s services can only continue to accommodate your child with your consent and it is usual for this to be formalised in a written agreement. Although those caring for your child would be expected to make day to day decisions regarding his/ her care, all important decisions must be brought back to you and certain issues will require your written consent (medical treatment, school trips etc.)

You say that your question refers to your youngest child. Am I right in thinking that this child is not accommodated? What role are children’s services taking with regards this child? Does he have a child in need plan or a child protection plan? Are children’s services in the process of carrying out an initial or core assessment of him?

As you have said, although it is usual for children’s services to see a child without their parents during an assessment, they must generally speak to you about this and ask for your agreement before seeing the child. Verbal consent would generally be acceptable and I would not expect written consent to be sought.

As you say, children’s services should only go ahead and see you child without first consulting you if there are exceptional circumstances. This would generally mean that the child would be prevented from speaking to professionals freely or may be placed at risk of significant harm if parents knew about this in advance.

I would advise that you raise your concerns with the social worker and ask them to explain clearly why your child was seen without your consent and how this decision was reached. If you do this verbally, I would advise that you follow this up in writing and request a written response clarifying the situation. Once you are clear about why the decision was made, you are in a position to challenge this if you feel it is unreasonable.

I hope this helps.

Please do post again and let us know how things are going or if you have any further questions.

Best Wishes


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