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Dad's rights....situation at pick up time....


twinthinguk
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I have a couple of issues concerning what rights a couple of our children's dads have when it comes to picking them up,

a couple of mums have approached me this week and said they do not want their children's fathers to have access to them at all, one has a court order and the other one says he has been harassing the family. We have in place our password for collection and are aware that Mums do on wish for their children to be released to the fathers and any family members not on our list, but apparently one of the dads says he has the right to be able to pick up, we have the right not to release the child without the consent of the mother in line with our settings policy, I have tried to reassure both mums that they will be safe, and have told mum that no way will we let someone pick the child up,

has anyone had an actual situation when someone turns up?

what rights do the dad's have? hopefully they will never actually try to take the children but I want to know we have all our bases covered...

( I am not the manager at the setting but seen to be the one the mums turn to for advice) thanks x

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If the father has parental responsibility and the is no court order to the contrary, the setting must hand the child over to him unless they have a serious and immediate child protection concern.

 

The mother who does not have a court order needs to seek legal advice.

 

In the meantime if the father turns up and you are not sure of your position you need to stall him and call the police so they can sort it out.

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If the father has parental responsibility and the is no court order to the contrary, the setting must hand the child over to him unless they have a serious and immediate child protection concern.

 

The mother who does not have a court order needs to seek legal advice.

 

In the meantime if the father turns up and you are not sure of your position you need to stall him and call the police so they can sort it out.

thanks for all the replies, both these fathers do not have custody, as the children live with new families, ....there are safeguarding issues as one is known to be violent and the other is just trying to make mums life hell! I will be reviewing the policy with the manager tomorrow and suggest both mums seek legal advice x

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thanks for all the replies, both these fathers do not have custody, as the children live with new families, ....there are safeguarding issues as one is known to be violent and the other is just trying to make mums life hell! I will be reviewing the policy with the manager tomorrow and suggest both mums seek legal advice x

 

A very difficult situation for you - but just a 'word of warning' fathers who 'do not have custody' will almost certainly still have 'parental responsibility'

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Same as Upsy Daisy as well. I tell the staff to stall until mum arrives. If father becomes agressive then to get support from the police and let them sort it out. It is a really iffy one and it all depends on each individual case but in reality if Dad has parental responsibility there is nothing we can do and I always advise mums to get it sorted legally as soon as possible.

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Yes, we go with Parental Responsibility too. In the section on our forms where we ask who is allowed to pick up the child, we also have a line asking is there a named person who is not allowed to collect. However, if the father has PR, the mother wouldn't be allowed to name him in this section What a sad and complicated world we live in.

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A very difficult situation for you - but just a 'word of warning' fathers who 'do not have custody' will almost certainly still have 'parental responsibility'

yes noted thanks x will pass on info for the mums so they can sort it out, lets hope it never comes to anything x

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Word of caution about court orders - try to encourage parent going for court order to make it time/location specific - we had one where the judge had ruled that children could only be collected after school by dad - meaning older children after mainstream school however dad tried to test the order by picking up youngest from us at pre-school and also to wind mum up sent the girlfriend who she had forbidden. In the end we called the police (to get them there we had to say we feared a breech of the peace as they don't like getting involved in "domestics" to help sort it out. If possible we now suggest parent asks for court orders that specify child may not be collected from NURSERY NAME, NURSERY ADDRESS at any time.

 

Sad world when the parents use the children as pawns

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thanks for all the replies, both these fathers do not have custody, as the children live with new families, ....there are safeguarding issues as one is known to be violent and the other is just trying to make mums life hell! I will be reviewing the policy with the manager tomorrow and suggest both mums seek legal advice x

Custody isn't relevant in this case unless there is a court order defining who can have the child when.

 

The safeguarding concern needs to be substantial and immediate so the fact that the guy has been known to be violent is only relevant if you have reason to believe he is likely to significantly harm the child. The fact that a father is making the mother's life hell has nothing whatsoever to do with his right to collect a child for whom he has parental responsibility.

 

I think you should contact your Early Years advisor to talk things through before you end up having to deal with one of these situations. You need to be very clear on your rights and responsibilities and those of the parents.

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We had a similar situation several years back and could not get a definitive answer as everyone has said it is a very grey area. We decided to go with the wishes of Mum as it was her who had signed the registration form with the setting. However Dad did come to see us about how the child was doing and to look at her folder etc. We were advised that we could not legally deny this from his solicitors and luckily Mum agreed to that. However the family left soon afterwards which was very sad.

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I would also urge you to be cautious of assuming anything. Just because a mother says a father is 'violent' or 'in the wrong' you have to remember there are always two sides and you have to remain impacial.

We had a situation last year where mum said dad was having an affair and she had got a court order. Long story short, it turned out she was the one having an affair and desperately trying to get us on side and against the Dad in order to get a court order. very messy and unpleasant time.

Our Duty social worker told us recently unless you have a copy of a court order saying otherwise then both parents have equal rights re picking up regardless on who the children live with.

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I would also urge you to be cautious of assuming anything. Just because a mother says a father is 'violent' or 'in the wrong' you have to remember there are always two sides and you have to remain impacial.

We had a situation last year where mum said dad was having an affair and she had got a court order. Long story short, it turned out she was the one having an affair and desperately trying to get us on side and against the Dad in order to get a court order. very messy and unpleasant time.

Our Duty social worker told us recently unless you have a copy of a court order saying otherwise then both parents have equal rights re picking up regardless on who the children live with.

thanks for all the replies I am now just praying that nothing ever happens as it seems such mess! I cannot go to into too much detail but both fathers have alcohol and drug dependencies and a lot of other issues that have been recorded by the family court...and its not just mums word against them, both cases are quite complex, each case if unique I guess so we will just have to spend time making our policy clear.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

It's horrible when we are put in these situation isn't it? I had a father become very aggressive to me about four years ago after I made a safeguarding referral (I was explaining this to him when he came to collect his son). Staff very quickly moved the children into one of the furthest rooms but my eldest son -9 at the time and attending my OOS club - refused to come away from the door (he is still a lovely protective boy) and still talks about it now. I was shaking like a leaf after he had gone. However I have gone off on a tangent a little - my mother advised me years ago that if I was ever in such a situation to get someone to stand beside me - shoulder to shoulder practically - they don't need to say anything but it gives you confidence and psychologically it can usually reduce the threatening behaviour.

 

I think that's another piece of my mothers wisdom imparted on the forum. Years as a youth leader and working for the police made her very wise.

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