by Andrew Weeden | McKenzie Friend based in Cambridge and Ely
A concern has been raised about the safety and welfare of your Child. You have been told that you should enable safeguarding and stop contact with the other parent.
What should you do, and where do you stand legally?
Most often, but not always, a request for safeguarding comes from the Local Authority. Social Services.
It is important to understand that Children and Family Services make these requests of a parent, however it has no legal standing.
Parents who summarily stop their Children from going to the other parent can find themselves in troublesome situations.
And the Local Authority stands back and says — it is the parents’ right and obligation to apply safeguarding, if they feel it is necessary, in order to protect the Children.
Usually, the request comes in because there are concerns but an Assessment has not yet been carried out or concluded.
If the Local Authority deem that the concerns are so significant, they have the option to immediately place a Child in care and begin care proceedings.
Otherwise, Assessments take 45 plus days to complete. And then, if there are findings, they have processes they can invoke, such as placing a Child on a Child-in-Need plan or to convene a Child Protection Conference, the outcome of which could find your Child being put onto a Child Protection Plan.
None of this is quick or straightforward.
From a legal standpoint, if you are minded to safeguard your Child from the other parent, the process should be placed into the hands of the Family Court.
This is the correct and appropriate procedure.
The concerned parent should file a C100 Child Arrangements Order application for an ‘urgent’ hearing. And the grounds for the safeguarding should be listed on to the application as well as any other issues you want the Court to consider, such as a Prohibited Steps, Specific Issue or Non molestation Order.
If you are already within Child Arrangements Court proceedings –
- The Applicant should file a C2 Application
- The Respondent should file a C100 or C2 cross-application
Unless you are on welfare benefits, you will have to pay a filing fee to the Court of £215.00
I can assist you in filing your ‘urgent’ application. Book an appointment with me online. (Initial appointments are £Free).