chapter  7
24 Pages

Contact

ByMary Ryan

This chapter looks at the background to the current legislation and sets out the legal provisions in relation to contact, suggests how practice can be developed to promote successful contact. It looks at how disputes can be resolved or otherwise dealt with and deals with the appointment and role of independent visitors. During the 1980s a growing body of research in both the UK and the USA was showing that, when children are separated from their families and are being looked after by local authorities or other agencies, their well-being is enhanced if they maintain links with their families and friends. The arrangements for contact between children and their parents, relatives and friends is one of the essential issues discussed. A prime duty of agencies is a duty to consult with children, their parents, non-parents with parental responsibility, and other relevant people before making any decision about a child.