Another said: « They don`t matter. They do not ensure the safety of the child. My local authority does not use them for practical reasons. It`s easy for parents to misinterpret what they mean. This is often an instinctive response to ensure safety without completing a safety plan or actual change work to affect a situation. They are often used to deal differently with men – they restrict contact, which is not legal for the local authority if a man has [parental responsibility] for his children. I think it`s a shabby practice. When people like « Machiavelli » (an interesting and somewhat suggestive online nickname, to say the least. see below) believe that written agreements are « healthy and steaming » and « not worth the paper on which they are written », so why should they be used? In fact, « Machiavelli`s » comment is really disturbing and shows a level of incompetence that stands out as frightening. For HOW could « Machiavelli » know that the policeman was « clearly inexperienced » when it came to child protection? Was the officer wearing some kind of badge or t-shirt promoting this fact? NO! The statement given is based solely on the opinion of « Machiavelli » and therefore does not constitute a fact.
In fact, how do any of us know if « Machiavelli » has experience with child protection or not? And then to say, « I don`t think the threshold has been reached in any way. » Well, obviously, other workers involved in the case believed that the threshold had been reached. So why, dear « Machiavelli », you believed that it is acceptable to throw away your weight and lie to the police by presenting a written « smoke and mirror » agreement, that you yourself admit that you do not believe « worth the paper on which it is written » to confirm the safety of a child whose safety has obviously NOT been confirmed by a written agreement, that YOU, didn`t you even trust yourself? HORRIBLE PRACTICE, REALLY APPALLING! And if the « exit clause » is supposed to claim that « mother and child are thriving now, » where is the evidence? No other information is provided, so the case described could be as fictitious as it is real. Some of the respondents felt that the agreements were more focused on protecting local authorities than on the family, with one respondent stating that they were used to « covering our backs ». However, others have argued for the success of agreements that put local authorities` concerns into perspective for parents, saying that if parents contribute and understand an agreement, it can lead to positive outcomes. From the point of view of local authorities, written agreements do not have the force of law, but are a useful way to communicate their concerns to parents and to gather evidence of parents` ability to change and cooperate with them. They can be used alongside plans for children in need, child protection plans and child care services. Of course, in some cases, social workers bark at the wrong tree and worry about things that don`t really happen (or that they can`t prove they happen). If you refuse to sign an agreement, your children will not be removed, but if social services can later prove that their concerns were justified, a refusal to sign will increase the level of concern and make it harder to convince the court that it is safe for children to be at home.
We did not find that written agreements are effective in reducing incidents of family violence or even reducing risk. In fact, we found that in some circumstances, their use actually increased the risk and gave professionals false assurances about the safety of children. Let`s face reality! The « agreements » between the social services and the parents are akin to simple blackmail and are signed under duress! Sign this agreement under section 20 or we will receive a court order that you will lose your son forever! Or sign this contact agreement in which you agree not to say that you miss your child and want to have him at home, you will not discuss the case and you will not discuss the abuse in foster care, otherwise the contact will be reduced and eventually stopped! Disgusting blackmail of the weak by the insensitive and civil servants, who can have neither moral nor legal validity!! The perpetrators should be arrested, but they will not be. When social services care for children, their parents or extended family are often asked to sign a document, often referred to as a « written agreement », « contract of expectation », « employment agreement » or « partnership agreement ». Parents are not always able to seek legal advice when asked to sign these documents, and there may be misunderstandings about the status of these agreements and the consequences of refusing to sign or act on something the document states the parent is not allowed to do. By the way. an explanation of why « Machiavelli » as an online identity/nickname sounds the alarm. Being « Machiavellian » means « cunning, conspiratorial and unscrupulous, especially in politics, » according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Sometimes an agreement is reached while social services is assessing a family (before or during the proceedings), and it may be part of a package that has been temporarily put in place to fill the position while an assessment is complete or until the court can make a decision. It is not uncommon for lawyers who represent parents at a « deportation hearing » (a hearing in which social services asks the court to approve the temporary placement of children in foster care, usually at the beginning of a case) to ensure that their client consents to a proposed written agreement, arguing that there is an obligation on the part of the parent to: compliance with certain basic rules means that it is safe enough for children to remain at home, under supervision to ensure that the agreement is respected, that it is therefore not necessary or proportionate to issue a care order or remove the children, and that the period during which the case is pending can be used as a trial period, to see if the parent can keep things together as stated in the agreement. .