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Partnership - Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil & Bridgend

Practice reminder - Professional responsibilities to absent parents

The publication of a recent child practice review highlighted the requirement for all practitioners working with families to be reminded of their responsibilities to parents who are not actively involved in their child’s life.

When working with the family and child, all attempts to ascertain their whereabouts and consider how they are to be included must be recorded.

Not having parental responsibility must not be used as an automatic reason to exclude and in cases where for instance a father doesn’t have PR, but there is no dispute about paternity, it should be  explored what part they could play in the child’s life and the child protection process.

For those who chair conferences – Please ensure in conference that you are asking questions about the absent parent and making a recommendation that it must be recorded on the child’s file the reasons why a parent is not involved and/or attempts to include them.

The local authority’s position should always be one of including absent parents and excluding should only be considered in exceptional circumstances where it can be clearly evidenced that including them would pose a risk to the child.

Posted on Monday 6th March 2023