Are the any tips for parents and carers who need to talk to their child’s social worker about the plans for contact?
2 minute read
If parents or carers want to make or change arrangements to see their child, they need to talk to their child’s social worker. Here are some tips that can help in those discussions:
- Think through what sort of contact might be best the child. This might include seeing the child at their family home (rather than the foster carer’s home), or when others are around to help
- Ask the social worker to put the more detailed arrangements for contact in a letter or email and keep a copy of this. This helps to make sure everyone is clear about the plans. Remember, key information about the contact arrangements should also be part of the child’s care plan
- Keep a short note of how each visit goes. This could be in writing in a notebook. Or it could be a voice note on a phone. Having a note can be helpful to have for later meetings which how contact is going is discussed. Where contact is supervised and notes are taken, parents and carers are entitled to see copies of these contact notes.
- If parents or carers face difficulty paying the costs of contact visits, they can ask the social worker for help with this. They can pay for things like travel, meals, or the cost of a special outings. It could be paid to anyone visiting the child, not just parents (see schedule 2, paragraph 16 of the Children Act 1989).
- Share with the social worker some of the messages from research about what makes contact a positive experience for children and families. Perhaps pick the messages that seem most relevant to your situation.