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To ask whether you think a parent should be prevented from having (physical) contact with their child?

(45 Posts)
Thistledew Mon 05-Sep-11 16:00:55

If that parent has committed a criminal offence?

They would be allowed contact by phone, email, letter etc, but the parent and child would not be able to have physical contact.

If so, what offences do you think this should be applied to? How long do you think the separation should last? Does it make a difference how old the children are, or whether the parent and child lived together before the parent committed the offence?

GypsyMoth Mon 05-Sep-11 16:06:28

Is this a further punishment for the parent who committed the crime then??

wannaBe Mon 05-Sep-11 16:08:02

which newspaper are you writing for?

Gonzo33 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:08:50

I would not allow my ds contact with his nrp if his nrp was physically a risk to him (ie hit him, was stupid enough to put his life in danger, etc). I think contact should remain (if possible) supervised in a contact ctr for a substantial period (this would also be variable) of time until the nrp has proven to be trustworthy.

I am talking from the POV of a pwc of a 10 year old boy.

I do not believe it matters whether the child and nrp lived together previously. The reason the PWC left may be for DV issues which obviously should be taken into consideration when agreeing contact. Although I do understand that not all DV NRP's will be a risk to the children.

The child's age should always be taken into consideration because where my DS can now call me and tell me he wants picking up because his dad is being an arse before he could not. Plus he is also more confident in standing up to his dad now.

VelvetSnow Mon 05-Sep-11 16:09:11

If the parent is a danger to the child then no way should they be allowed contact, physical or otherwise.

But in any other circumstances I don't believe a parent should be prevented from having any contact.

Why do you ask OP?

Againagainagain Mon 05-Sep-11 16:09:51

Or punishment for the child who hasn't done anything wrong

McPie Mon 05-Sep-11 16:09:54

wannaBe I thought exactly the same!

Gonzo33 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:10:16

Assuming your not writing for a paper, I would also hasten to add that it would depend on the crime that the nrp had committed

EdithWeston Mon 05-Sep-11 16:10:28

Is the question about the duration of a custodial sentence, or for an additional period afterwards?

Thistledew Mon 05-Sep-11 16:10:58

I am not writing for any newspaper. This is something that has come up in connection with my work and as my own views seem to be against the general trend, I am genuinely interested in seeing what other people think.

sugarbea Mon 05-Sep-11 16:11:03

Surely it depends on the offence and whether or not it has anything to do with children. Are we talking a prison visit? Can you explain a bit more op? smile

Thistledew Mon 05-Sep-11 16:14:34

I am not talking about cases where the parent poses a risk to the child. I mean preventing contact after the parent has been released from custody.

Are there categories of offences where it is appropriate to prevent contact? If so, what ones?

Gonzo33 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:15:16

Tbh I really think it depends on the crime.

Hassled Mon 05-Sep-11 16:17:35

I suppose there's a tipping point - crimes which have involved violence against another person? As opposed to stuff like fraud, etc. But again, there are so many shades of grey in here - and you have to be able to identify a clear risk to the child before you could say no contact.

sugarbea Mon 05-Sep-11 16:19:50

The thing is, for the bigger crimes you would hope they would have a big sentence right? If there is NO risk to the child at all, then why stop contact. You say custody though so is the child already used to being separated from the parent? or is the crime not big enough for a sentence?

VelvetSnow Mon 05-Sep-11 16:22:03

If the parent has been released from custody then the decision has been made that they are safe to rejoin society.

Case workers/Social workers/and Probation officers would have looked into the persons lifestyle and made any reccomendations based on what they found.

People who get caught up in crime for whatever reason can still be good parents.

I'd say the categories where it's appropriate to prevent contact would be:

terrorist (extremist)
serial killer

kelly2000 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:22:29

Only if the child is in danger from abuse. Otherwise it is just punishing the child.

Thistledew Mon 05-Sep-11 16:23:18

Is it that the parent does not deserve to have contact with the child, or that the parent is such a poor role model that the child is better off without the parent?

What if the parent is a loving one and has a good relationship with the child, but has committed an offence that led to a prison sentence? Is it still better for the child not to receive care from that parent?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 05-Sep-11 16:24:17

Each case is individual and should be considered on its own merits taking all known facts into account.

Unless you provide more detail no-one here can give an informed opinion, but where a parent who has served a custodial sentence does not pose a risk to the child, and where the child wishes to have contact with the parent, there would seem no reason why face to face contact should not be encouraged and facilitated

GypsyMoth Mon 05-Sep-11 16:24:38

There is MAPPA regulations already

WilsonFrickett Mon 05-Sep-11 16:24:46

Why punish the child? Apart from some types of offences (Velvet's list is a good starting point) there isn't any risk to the child so why should they suffer?

Birdsgottafly Mon 05-Sep-11 16:25:27

My answer probably isn't going to be of much help.

All cases have to be risk assessed individually.

It does depend on the extent and attachment that was present before the period of separation.

The age of the child, because if the child is over 10 then their wishes must be taken into account.

The long term plans with regards to residency, etc.

There isn't a need to block total contact as it would be supervised and overseen by a SW, if it was the ex prisoner that was requesting it.

GypsyMoth Mon 05-Sep-11 16:25:42

And anyway, it's the children's act which is used to set contact

That's the rights of the child, not any parent

wannaBe Mon 05-Sep-11 16:26:01

well, surely you have to decide on a case by case basis.

You can't decide that all rapests, or all murderers, or all drug dealers should be denied access to their children (just to use examples). Technically you could decide that you wouldn't want such individuals anywhere near your children but it's more complicated than that.

Because even someone who commits the most horrendous crime might not actually be a danger to their children, and in terms of contact it's about the child's right to a relationship with their parent rather than the other way around iyswim.

I think you have to question why you are preventing contact. Is it because the person is a danger to the child physically? or is it because you personally disagree with what they have done and therefore choose that on your child's behalf. If the former then totally right to deny contact, if the latter then IMO it is wrong and the child should be allowed contact and, when appropriate, be made aware of the facts so they can make their own judgements.

AMumInScotland Mon 05-Sep-11 16:26:06

Unless the parent is a direct threat to the child, once their sentence is over that should be an end of their enforced separation. That's sort of the point about rehabilitation of offenders, isn't it?

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