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Need Advice Quick!


marley
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Hi all

At work today supervisor told staff that a mum had called the co-ordinator to say that she wanted only herself to pick up her child and no-one else. Supervisor asked co-ordinator what was going on, co-ord said she was not allowed to say (thats another issue supervisor is going to sort out!). Anyway, when supervisor told me this, presuming its Dad and not grand-parents mum is talking about I said that i thought we had no right to stop Dad taking his child if he has parental responsibility unless there is a court order. Now, i have come back and researched the forum to find the following thread which i got my info from.

 

http://www.foundation-stage.info/forums/in...+responsibility

 

Has anyone got any proof of where this has come from eg website . Hubby is teacher, said this happens a lot at school and they would not let dad take child. Conflicting info then.

Supervisor said she is going to check this out but we need to know asap.

 

We think mum thinks the co-ordinator is the "manager" of the setting as she deals with fees, enrolement etc so that is why mum has not told supervisor however.

Thanks all.

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In our setting we have these issues fairly frequently!

 

Where this is no court order stating that certain people should not pick up (ie Mum or Dad) we only let the child go with the parent we usually deal with.

 

For instance if a Mum drops off in the morning (and is in this type of situation) we presume she is picking up unless she tells us otherwise............ if Dad or a Nan or anyone else tunred up we wouldn't let the child go with them unless we had checked with Mum first.

 

Presently there is a very nasty situation going on with 2 children in school and we deal with Mum, and so when Dad turns up we explain that Mum pays the fees, organises the days they attend etc and she will tell us if anyone else will pick up.

We are polite to Dad and explain we need to speak to Mum first despite no court order and we get Mum up to talk with Dad and sort it.

 

Its a horribly tricky situation which has to be dealt with oh so sensitively.

 

We don't have the RIGHT to say Dad can't take the children but when you know the situation is very bad, we play it sensitively and contact Mum. Its not our job to sort out. Its our job to keep the children safe

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Just be aware that some moms might use the children to get back at dad, so they might try to stop dad collecting just to hack dad off. You wont know the full story even if you speak to both parents, so follow advice from you EY team, your child protection team and advice from government sources and a great heap of common sense.

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Due to parental responsibility you can't stop a parent taking their own child, however we ask the person dropping them off who will be collecting and then, if someone else comes we ring child's main carer for them to say it is ok and if they say no we delay the child from leaving to give the main carer a chance to get here so they can sort it out while the child is occupied with us.

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On your registration form if dad is listed as having parental responsibility then there is no way you can stop dad from collecting. If it a safeguarding issue then this is different but that order should come from the LSB. We have this happen at our nursery a lot, we explain to parents that this is not possible however we can call mom and let her know that dad has come to nursery x

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I've got a bit of a situation at the moment which I wouldn't mind people's views on.

Recently one of the dad's did something which ended up with police, psych's and social services getting involved in the family.

Mum is adamant that dad won't do it again and want's to get back with him. I have spoken to their social worker though and she said although dad can have access to the children Under supervision he is not to be left alone with them. Now I'm wondering if we are legally allowed to stop dad collecting the child if he turns up on his own? There is no court order but social services has asked that he not be on his own with them..... :o

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I can't see that you can stop him, can you? Have social services put anything in writing for you, so you could show it to the dad if he came to collect? Failing anything like that, I think you'd have to let the dad collect. Just my opinion though :o

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I've got a bit of a situation at the moment which I wouldn't mind people's views on.

Recently one of the dad's did something which ended up with police, psych's and social services getting involved in the family.

Mum is adamant that dad won't do it again and want's to get back with him. I have spoken to their social worker though and she said although dad can have access to the children Under supervision he is not to be left alone with them. Now I'm wondering if we are legally allowed to stop dad collecting the child if he turns up on his own? There is no court order but social services has asked that he not be on his own with them..... :o

 

 

As far as I'm aware if social services have said it's supervised access only then that is what you have to go with. Are you sure there is no court order? I've never heard social services saying that unless there is one.

 

I think you have to look at this from the point of view of the child's safety. Social services don't usually deny parents access to their children lightly (there's a few in my school who could do with being taken away from their families asap but social services are so reluctant to do this). They wouldn't have said supervised only if they didn't think there was a significant risk that dad is going to do it again. I would say that in the interests of the child you shouldn't let him take the child. You are legally allowed to prevent a parent taking the child if you believe there is a safeguarding issue regarding the parent (ie they turn up drunk, or social services have indicated there is a problem).

 

I presume you already have but you need to let the social worker know that mum is back together with dad. Also you need to let them know if he turns up to collect on his own.

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As I understand it settings need to see the court order before they can prevent a parent with parental responsibility from having contact with their children.

 

Maz

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In terms of 'legality' I agree with Helen. With no court order or other offical documentation there is nothing in place to stop Dad from collecting and should he arrive to collect you have no 'right' to refuse him.

 

However, in this case I actually think it would almost be failing our duty of care to the child to allow Dad to collect when you have been specifically advised by the social worker not to do so.

 

Sorry but it all sounds a bit 'wishy washy' to me (not having a go at you at all!) and I really think there should be paperwork in place for this child - if social workers are so adamant then I would ask them for some 'offical grounds' on which you can refuse dad the right to collect.

 

The repercussions of you allowing dad to collect and something happening to the child don't bear thinking about and I think I would risk the wrath of an angry dad and refuse collection - the child is our priority at all times and I would not be happy to let him go with Dad - sorry

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As I understand it settings need to see the court order before they can prevent a parent with parental responsibility from having contact with their children.

 

Maz

 

I totally agree with you Maz :o but sometimes I think there have to be exceptions with the childs best interests at heart. I would rather be hauled over the coals for not letting dad collect than risk letting the child go when advised not to by social services.

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I agree with you there Geraldine. However I've had a problem in the past when one Social Worker's advice contradicted another's and the parent complained to Ofsted (in this case because I took the 'better safe than sorry' route).

 

As you said elsewhere in your earlier post - if Social Services feel that dad should not be allowed unsupervised access to his child then they should put something in writing to protect the child, let alone the setting.

 

This is one of those situations when whatever the staff do they are likely to be in the wrong in the eyes of one party or another. I'd be asking for written confirmation as a matter of urgency.

 

As for what to do practically, I think I'd be having a word with mum to tell them what Social Services have told me, and ask that she comes along with Dad to collect. I'd probably say that if Dad does come to collect the child on his own I would be calling Social Services for advice before letting him take the child home. I'd also make sure that I had another practitioner with me when passing this information on!

 

Maz

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I will ring social services again tomorrow and ask for something in writing. The situation is a complicated one which I obviously can't go in to details of but I spoke to mum when it first happened and she said no way should dad collect the children and she actually put it in writing that only her or her mum was to pick the child up. a few days later she came to me and said they want to work it out themselves but both their families are against it so they aren't actually back together but have started meeting upo now and then.

I rang social services because mum wanted dad to be at a caf meeting about the child - caf in place for other reasons, not this situation.

 

I will say to mum that as social services have said dad can't be alone with the child then we can't let him pick her up alone, hopefully she wouldn't put us in that situation anyway as we do have a good relationship with her.

 

aarrgghh it's all so complicated sometimes isn't it

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  • 4 years later...

Hi, this has happened to me this morning with a mum telling us that dad is not allowed to collect this week due to stuff he has done at home. I have telephoned her to explain that we have no right to obstruct a parent collecting with no court order and she was very polite and ok with this. However, I was wondering if anyone had clarified the settings legal position in a policy at all?

 

Many Thanks

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There needs to be a court order or some kind of letter/ clarification from the police or solicitor etc. What we have said is that we will phone mum as soon as the child is collected if dad did turn up, thankfully we have never had them try to when mum didn't want them to. It says about this in our policy about collection x

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This is our policy, it came about as a child with divorced parents (both had access) and dad wanted to alter the persons allowed to collect to include someone the other parent didn't want.

Separating/divorced parents

If during their time with us parents separate or divorce the nursery will work with the family to support the child through a difficult and anxious time. The nursery will require written confirmation of any changes to parental residency or custody.

 

Please note that should there be a change to the custody/contact arrangements for a child the nursery must be informed in writing via a solicitor’s letter or equivalent. In the absence of written evidence any changes to authorised collectors can only be made by the person who has signed the application form, and must be made in writing.

 

The nursery will work with both parents (providing they have parental responsibility for the child) to ensure equal and fair access to development records, parents evenings etc.

 

Hope this helps. We did take some legal advice who said as the contract was with one parent (not the dad) this was ok.

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