Legal advice on contact with children in care.
Getting more contact with a child is a huge concern for any parent who has been through care proceedings. You may be worried that you won’t be able to see your child very often, but we can help you take a pragmatic approach to get the best possible outcome.
Your contact arrangements are always under review, so we will make sure you get a fair assessment of your situation. Legal aid is available to help parents cover the legal costs involved with getting an order for contact with a child in care, and we can help you apply for the funding.
A legal expert, on your side
Even after your child has been removed by the Local Authority, you are likely to be able to get some form of contact with them. The Local Authority has a duty to support a reasonable level of family contact, and it’s important to stay positive. At Blaser Mills Law, we know how difficult it can be to be hopeful when a Care Order is in place, but we’ve helped many clients get greater contact with their children and improve their situation. We’re specialists in this area of family law, and we will give you clarity on how the Children Act 1989 affects you based on your current circumstances.
When you want to change the contact you have with your child in care, getting the correct legal advice to challenge the Local Authority is crucial. You need to put across a strong argument about why the current arrangements are neither reasonable nor in your child’s best interests, and we are here to help you do exactly that. We’ve been through the process hundreds of times and know what judges will want to see in the family court.
Our experience also means we’re realistic about potential outcomes. We won’t give you false hope and will instead be honest about what you can expect and the steps you need to follow to change the restrictions placed on you. Even if the outcome isn’t what you had hoped for, we will give you clear guidance on how to put yourself in a better position for success and reach an agreement in the future.
Typical child contact arrangements
There is no typical child contact arrangement because the care plan will depend on your unique circumstances and those of the child. We have seen contact arrangements ranging from more than once a week, to a handful of visits per year, and everything in between. Types of contact range from direct contact through face-to-face meetings, which may be supervised in a contact centre, to non-direct contact through letters, emails or phone calls. Interim contact should be arranged whilst care proceedings are ongoing, and is usually higher than under a full Care Order. We can help you understand the arrangements you are most likely to achieve and take you through the whole process of achieving the best possible outcome.
Reasons for supervised contact
You may be allowed to have supervised contact with your child, which means someone else will be with you at all times. This type of contact may be put in place if the Court or Local Authority believe your child is at risk of harm when they see you. Supervised contact may feel unnatural to you, but it can be an effective way of helping to build your relationship with your child in a safe environment. The person accompanying your child may be a social worker or a family member who has been suitably assessed. Over time, the level of supervision may be reduced, and we can give you legal advice on how to improve the kind of contact you have with your child.
Getting more contact
The Local Authority that holds the Care Order usually decides how much contact the parent has with the child, and what sort, and it has a duty to keep the arrangements under review. If you, as a parent, are not happy with the level of contact, you can make a Court application. It is then up to the Court to decide the nature and level of contact parents can have with their children based on what is best for the welfare of each child.
We help lots of parents and family members get more contact with their children. Parents often turn to us directly for legal help after getting nowhere in discussions with their social worker for many weeks and months. It is our job to give you a clear indication on the kind of contact you can expect to have with your child based on your circumstances and whether or not your situation has improved. We will also guide you through the process to make sure you get a fair trial when important decisions are being made about your future and child’s upbringing.
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