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My child is in care and I want more contact

View profile for Julia Shaikh
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Local Authorities have a duty to promote contact between a child in their care and the relevant parties under Section 34 of the Children Act 1989 – unless it is not reasonably practical or consistent with the child’s welfare.

If your child is in Local Authority foster care and you are currently having contact with them, the frequency and arrangements for contact are established at the final hearing and set out in the Final  Order and within the child’s care plan.  

You should be aware that the contact arrangements are always under review and therefore, can change. This will depend on whether the contact is a beneficial experience and is in your child’s best interest. There are no typical child contact arrangements, as the care plan will depend on the individual set of circumstances and those of the child. Direct contact could be once a week or six visits per year.

Contact with children in care can range from direct contact face-to-face contact,  unsupervised or supervised by the Local Authority to indirect contact by way of  letters, emails or phone calls.

If the child contact is supervised, this means someone else will be with you at all times. This type of contact takes place if the Court or Local Authority believe your child is at risk of harm when they spend time with you. Supervised contact can feel unnatural, but it is a positive way to maintain your relationship with your child in a safe environment. Over time, the level of supervision may be reduced, if it is deemed safe for you to be alone with your child.  We can give you legal advice on how to improve the kind of contact you have with your child. careteam@johnsonastills.com  0116 255 4855 (Leicester) or 01509 610 312 (Loughborough)

Should you want to challenge the current contact arrangements, you will need the correct legal advice in order to put your case to the Local Authority. You will need to demonstrate why the current arrangements are not reasonable or in your child’s best interests. In many cases, it is possible to negotiate arrangements with the Local Authority without the need to make an application to the Court.  However, if this is not possible we will assess your case to determine whether your case has sufficient prospects of success to enable us to make an application to the Court. The Court would make the final decision based on the evidence from you, the Local Authority and other professionals involved with your child.

If you believe that an increase in the current contact arrangements are in your child’s best interest, speak to our care team at Johnson Astills  careteam@johnsonastills.com  0116 255 4855, we will be able to assess your situation, determine whether you would be eligible for legal aid and if so, help you apply for legal aid to progress your case

We will provide you with honest advice in relation to whether we believe you are able to challenge the current contact arrangements.  Even if the outcome is not what you expected, you will receive clear guidance on how to put yourself in a better position and reach an agreement in the future.  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.

If you have any further questions and require legal advice, please contact the office on 0116 255 4855 (Leicester) or 01509 610 312 (Loughborough) care team.