How to stay in touch with the child

If you want to stay in touch with the child who is living at home with their parents, you should speak to the parents about it. The word used for staying in touch is contact.

If the child is on a child protection plan, the social worker might want to make sure the child is safe when they stay in touch with people. For example, sometimes the social worker might want to make sure that someone is there when the child is having contact, to watch what happens.

If it looks as if there might be problems about staying in touch with the child you might want to write down an agreement with the parents about contact, to make it easier to manage. This agreement could state:

  • What sort of contact there will be: face-to-face, telephone, greeting cards, email, Facebook, or any other form of contact;
  • Where contact will take place;
  • How often it will take place, on what days, at what time, and how long it will last;
  • What will happen if you or the parents are late for contact;
  • Who will be there;
  • Whether the contact will be formally supervised;
  • What you or the parents should do if you cannot keep to the arrangement;
  • Whether the contact will be rearranged if it does not take place;
  • How any changes to the arrangement will be discussed;
  • How any disagreements about contact will be resolved;
  • Whether the arrangement will be reviewed, and if so when;
  • How you and the parents ought to behave in contact, for example not arguing in the contact meeting; and
  • Anything that should not happen during contact, for example no one should be drunk or under the influence of drugs, or scare the children.

You could also consider trying to reach an agreement in mediation.