Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Care Proceedings Frequently Asked Questions:
Keeping the Agreement

What is the agreement?

The agreement is a document that says what you have agreed with the local authority needs to be done to look after your child and make sure that your child is protected. It is a formal record of what you agreed with your local authority at the pre-proceedings meeting.

What can it include?

An agreement can include all sorts of things. Some of these are things the parents must do. For example:

  • make sure their child goes to school every day
  • take their child to a friend or family member when the parent goes to work or college
  • meet a health visitor every week to check on the child’s health
  • see a drug and alcohol adviser.

It might also include things that the child’s social worker must do, for example:

  • ask a health visitor to visit the child or ask a drug and alcohol adviser to visit the parents.

Make sure you understand exactly what you have to do as part of the agreement. Don’t agree to anything you can’t do.

What happens if I don’t keep to the agreement?

If you don’t keep to the agreement, the local authority will almost certainly ask a court for permission to take your child into care.

How will my local authority check I’m keeping to it?

You will have to go to regular meetings with your local authority. At the meetings, you will be asked about what you’ve done to keep to the agreement. The local authority will also ask people you had to meet, like health visitors, to tell them if you have met them, and what they think about your child’s situation.

How do I prove I’m keeping to it?

You should keep notes about when you have done things that are part of the agreement. Use the table on the previous page to

My circumstances have changed and I can’t do something that was on the agreement. What can I do instead?
If you have a good reason why you can’t do something that was on the agreement, you should tell your child’s social worker as soon as possible. They might be able to get the agreement changed, or think of something else you could do instead to help your child.

You should also tell your solicitor.

My child’s social worker was supposed to do something as part of the agreement, but they haven’t done it. What should I do?
If your child’s social worker hasn’t done something they are supposed to do, you should call them and ask them why. If you think they are not helping you, you can ask to speak to the manager of children’s services at your local authority.

You should also make a note of it and tell your solicitor.

What else can I do to help show the local authority I can look after my child well?
One good way of showing the local authority you are looking after your child well is to do other things that aren’t part of the agreement. For example, you could let your child join an after-school club that they are interested in.

Your child’s social worker might be able to suggest organisations that can help you. You could also ask family and friends to help you with child care if you feel you need a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for more help if you need it.

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