When social services are linked to children, their parents or large families are often asked to sign a document often referred to as a “written agreement,” “trust contract,” “employment contract” or “partnership contract.” Parents are not always able to obtain legal advice when asked to sign these documents, and there may be misunderstandings about the status of such agreements and the consequences of refusing to sign or do something that says the parents cannot do. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is worth paying attention to what you need to do regarding communicating and contacting your ex-partner/reporting abuse of a current partner. Are you being asked to sign up for something that is not realistic or safe to expect? Unfortunately, some waiting contracts give responsible responsibility to an abused relative, who is difficult to keep to. If you are concerned, ask to speak privately with the social worker or discuss the proposed wording with your IDVA or YOUR ISVA (see here to learn more about the subject). Adam Birchall, a senior social worker for children, youth and families in Solihull, says these agreements work well if there are a few “purchases” from the family and are specific to what they are asked to do. Unfortunately, our work has shown that written agreements are sometimes used in a way that is manifestly inappropriate. The idea of “partnership” is a chic way of talking about trust and working as a team, and it aims to give the idea that social services are there to help families, even if they don`t always feel that way for a parent who is under the microscope. Well-developed waiting contracts will explain not only what is expected of parents, but also what parents can expect from social workers, including practical support. However, the main purpose of these agreements is more often to protect children through parental agreements on their own behaviour.
We cannot advise on whether a parent should sign a particular agreement. But we can offer some general instructions: sometimes, social services invite parents to sign an agreement, even if the children are in care, to give them a framework and make changes during an evaluation period (go to appointments with the Medicines Agency, maintain domestic conditions, report relapses, etc.). The child protection plan is reviewed after three months and then every six months. These audits will see what has happened since the last time, whether the plan works and whether it needs to be changed. When people like “Machiavelli” (an interesting and somewhat suggestive online monicist, to say the least… see below) believe that written chords are “smoke and mirror” and “not worth the paper on which they are written,” so why use them? In fact, the commentary of “Machiavelli” is really disturbing and shows a degree of incompetence that stands out as frightening… For how could “Machiavelli” know that the policeman was “clearly inexperienced” in child protection? Did the officer make some kind of badge or T-shirt that defended that fact? No no! The statement made is based solely on the opinion of “Machiavelli” and therefore does not constitute a fact. How does one of us know if “Machiavelli” is experienced or not in child protection? And then say, “I don`t think the threshold has been reached in any way.” Well, obviously, other workers involved in the DID case think the threshold has been reached. So why do you prefer “Machiavelli,” you thought it was okay to throw away your weight and lie to the police, by providing a written agreement “Smoke and Mirror” that you yourself acknowledge not believing that it is “worth the paper on which it is written” to confirm the safety of a child whose safety clearly could not be confirmed by a written agreement that you do not even believe they do not even believe “worth the paper on which it is written” to confirm the safety of a child whose safety clearly cannot be confirmed by a written agreement