Long term contact

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Roma1
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:56 am

Long term contact

Post by Roma1 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:50 pm

Hi
I received details of the contact plan being proposed for a child I am being assessed for. At the moment under the ICO the BM sees the child weekly for one hour and she also sees her siblings once a week.
As I said, I am due to be assessed to have her long term and I live 100 miles away but remain highly significant in the child's life.

The proposed contact plan states that the contact with BM will be once a week and also one a week with siblings.
Does this make sense? That contact would remain at this level in long term care?
I would want to argue that a child of 5 would find a 200 mile round trip every week very intrusive
( presumably every weekend) . Does that, for example, mean that she will never be able to attend a friends birthday party or other social occasions? I though children in long term care were being enabled to enjoy a normal life. I don't object to contact but would rather have all the children to stay with me once a month than have to commit to taking this little girl on such a big journey so regularly.
Just thinking out loud but wondering what others think?
Surely indirect sibling contact ( Skype or whatever) might be a way forward to enable a more settled life away from the family situation??
All the kids are in separate placements and the intention is to continue this into long term care.

Roma1
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:56 am

Re: Long term contact

Post by Roma1 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:48 pm

Thanks again Irene. You are a fount of knowledge!!!! :)
I can't really believe they are planning on maintaining contact at weekly. I feel that would be quite disruptive for everyone involved ( though the BM would welcome it , no doubt)
Given that long term placements are still to be found for all the children ( mine being subject to approval) and presumably the others will have to be found available long terms carers in their own area, I suppose they could all end up at a distance from the BM so it is impossible to say if contact could be sustained at that level.
I would be happier to have all the siblings to visit me for a weekend rather than trailing them all over for an hour or two contact.
And wondering what I am supposed to do 100 miles from home every weekend with a resistant BM to deal with. No idea as yet if contact would be supervised by Contact centre staff or if I would be meant to supervise it. Not really prepared to do that in the circumstances!
I hope it does get reduced as less often would give the child the opportunity to settle, feel secure and begin a more settled life with new interest and opportunities.
We now have medical forms, reference forms etc etc and it looks like they are considering us strongly. Be sad if the contact issue was the fly in the ointment! Surely other children end up away from their home town environment?) I live in the town the little girl used to live in so we and the environment are very familiar)

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David Roth
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Re: Long term contact

Post by David Roth » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:02 pm

ied is absolutely right that it is common to maintain a high level of contact until a case has been resolved, or unless the other parties to the contact are not showing up or behave inappropriately during the contact. Once a placement has been made permanent, contact with parents and other significant people would usually be at a significantly lower level.

However, purely as a precaution, I would suggest checking with your local authority that this is what they are planning to do in your case. I have come across other cases where the social workers recommend that a high level of contact continues after the final hearing - in some cases, it has appeared that the social workers were doing this because they felt sorry for the parents losing their children, but hadn't given enough thought to what it would be like for the children to keep seeing these parents so often, while they are at the same time trying to settle in with their kinship carers.

I would suggest that you find out now what the local authority's plans are around post-order contact. If they do want to keep it at a high level, then at least you will have some time to prepare your case against it, and try to persuade the social workers and the court to come to a sensible decision.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Roma1
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:56 am

Re: Long term contact

Post by Roma1 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:24 pm

I spoke with the SW today. Apparently the info I have related to plans for the child to remain in long term in another placement but now I am back in the frame they said that post assessment ( if successful) they will need to write new care plans and contact would be much less frequent

Roma1
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:56 am

Re: Long term contact

Post by Roma1 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:02 am

Hope so, Irene. Sounding positive. Back in court IRH January, so hopefully sorted soon after that. With three grown up daughters myself and no children in the house I had better get myself prepared!! my situation means that I can devote myself to her and give the time she needs in a place where she feels safe already. My girls all care about her too and are close by so I think I will have the support I need.
Medical appointments booked for next week, referees asked for their submissions and DBS underway. Now just got the two day assessment to do!! We were half way through that when BM pulled out last time so I have a good idea of what they want to know. And I am not pulling out this time. Afraid the BM is going to have to catch up and start behaving or she will pay the price with CS.

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