Tag Archive: child neglect

  1. Child Arrangement Issues Explained

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    The breakdown of a relationship is always a difficult experience, particularly when there are children to think about. You only want what’s best for them, but amidst the fallout, wires can become crossed and it’s not always the case that both parents see eye to eye.

    At DRN, we have a dedicated team of experts in family and children matters, who have set out some advice below for those struggling with child arrangements.

     

    What are child arrangements?

    Child arrangements were previously referred to by the courts as “contact arrangements”. When a relationship breaks down, the parents involved will need to reach an agreement on the arrangements for their child, including which parent the child will live with and how often the other parent will spend time with the child.

    ‘Direct arrangements’ between a parent and child refers to any time spent face-to-face, and can include during the daytime or overnight.

    ‘Indirect arrangements’ is the term used for any occurrences where the parent might keep in touch with the child without physically visiting them. This can include engaging in telephone conversations, email or written letter exchanges or the sending of gifts.

     

    Who is entitled to spend time with a child?

    Contrary to popular belief, having parental responsibility and/or being named on a child’s birth certificate does not give an automatic right to spend time with a child. Any arrangements should be agreed on the terms of what is best for the child, not the parent, or any other person.

    In cases of separation, the parent the child lives with can usually make arrangements for time which the other parent should spend time with their child. Any arrangements should usually only be restricted in instances where it is felt necessary to safeguard the child.

    Agreements can be outlined for any person who maintains a close relationship with the child, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and close friends.

    In most cases, both parents are able to reach an amicable agreement and arrange time on terms which suit both parties. However, if this is not the case, it may become necessary to seek legal advice, and the expert solicitors at DRN can help.

     

    What if my child is not picked up or brought home on time?

    Both parents should try to stick to the agreed times for pick-up and drop-off to the best of their ability, although some understanding on either part should be given for delays caused by public transport, traffic or emergency.

     

    The parent of my child has not made a maintenance payment – are they still entitled to contact?

    Issues relating to child maintenance and issues related to child arrangements are seen as entirely separate from one another in the eyes of the law. For this reason, you will not be justified in refusing the non-resident parent time with their child on the basis that they have not paid maintenance for the child.

     

    I need further advice – what should I do next?

    With an understanding of all policies and procedures involved, your DRN solicitor will be able to provide sound advice and guidance throughout the process of settling your child arrangement issues, along with expert legal representation and an entirely confidential and reliable service. Get in touch today for more information about our services and find out how we can help you to achieve a favourable outcome.

  2. Child Cruelty Offences in the North West “almost double”

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    Figures from the NSPCC – the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – have revealed that child cruelty and neglect offences have almost doubled over the last five years.

    This shocking announcement means that since 2012, the number of recorded offences against children rose from 120 to 153 in 2017/2018. According to Blackburn with Darwen Council children’s boss Maureen Bateson, the rising number of cases is partly driven by increasing levels of poverty in the area, especially because of cuts to council grants and benefits.

    The NSPCC’s chief executive Peter Wanless said that he felt it was unclear why the number of child cruelty offences had risen so sharply. One explanation he posed could be the increase in public awareness around child neglect and child cruelty, causing an increase in reports and subsequent charges and arrests. In a recent statement he said:

    “Whatever the reasons for the increase in child neglect, there is something we can all do about it now. We need to be aware of vulnerable children and be ready to report it to the NSPCC or the authorities if we are concerned for their safety or wellbeing.”

    Suspect Child Cruelty or Neglect? Here’s What To Do:

    If you suspect that a child you know or care for is being treated cruelly or with neglect, here is what the NSPCC recommend as the best course of action.

    • Talk to the child in a non-confrontational way
    • Keep note of your concerns to see if there is a pattern
    • Talk to the child’s teacher, health visitor or other caregiver
    • Talk through your concerns with a trained NSPCC team member on 0808 800 5000

    If you are unsure what to do, call the NSPCC who will be able to refer you to the relevant child services officers or the police. In the North West, recent reports to the police have included extreme cases of when a parent or carer deliberately neglected, assaulted, abandoned or exposed their child to serious harm.

    Reporting child cruelty or neglect can be done anonymously. The welfare of the child is everyone’s top priority, and their home situation and support network is taken into consideration before any action is taken.

    Victims of Historical Child Abuse

    At DRN, we have an expert team of empathetic child abuse lawyers available for consultation and legal advice in Burnley, Ramsbottom and Colne. Our team has years of experience in representing vulnerable people, including children. We have also represented adult individuals in cases of historical child abuse, which helped to gain closure for those affected.

    Defending Against Child Neglect and Child Cruelty Cases

    In some cases, there is no evidence to support the notion that a child has been neglected to treated cruelly by an individual, despite allegations of either being reported by another person. Being wrongly accused of neglect is a devastating blow, and can affect your life, career and even your family and relationships with others.

    Our team of experienced defence lawyers and abuse solicitors in Lancashire can deal with your case sympathetically, carefully and without judgement, offering practical support, enabling you to overcome unfair or erroneous allegations, clear your name and continue with your life.

    If you would like to speak to a member of the DRN team confidentially about a child abuse, child cruelty or neglect case, or you would like some legal advice on how to begin or continue a case, please contact us today on 01282 433 241.

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