“If you assimilate a written agreement with certainty, you get off to a bad start,” Birchall says. “A piece of paper with a signature will never protect a child.” There may be people who argue that children can see this stuff on television or on the Internet, or read about it… But I ask you how many of us would really expect our children to watch this stuff regularly on television or read about this stuff? And even if the children WERE to do it, it remains the question of why a child would claim that such things happen to him. Especially if this child is supposed to come from a loving and caring family. Children can have vivid fantasies; But fantasies that drive them to claim abuse against an innocent and loved relative? One way or another, I do not think so. The purpose of a written agreement is to clearly define the steps a family should take to ensure the safety and well-being of the child in this case. Written agreements should not be used, they do not keep children safe. Planning must be at the centre of concerns, developed from the slowness of thought, partnership and analysis….. WHAT`S GOING TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE? In order for parents to understand these written agreements, they should have the opportunity to consult on what this means to them and their rights and obligations. Although legal assistance is more limited than before, it remains available for advice on social service involvement, provided that parents receive funding.
The more parents understand what is expected of them, the more effective the agreements will be. Despite the cases I have mentioned, there are circumstances in which written agreements can be effective. We know, for example, that they can work well if family members participate fully and.B equally in their development, for example through family group conferences. Here, parents are able to develop the right plan and agreement for them. This is a far cry from the situations I mentioned above. During the recent thematic review of the authorities` reactions to domestic persons, inspectors found that the agreements were widely applied in two administrations, although there was “no evidence of their effectiveness”. Irrespective of the terminology, I would like to see more discussion of inter-agency debates on when and how a written agreement can and cannot be used in a positive way.