“Some adults are encouraged to sign written agreements that they are not in contact with an abusive partner or that they do not let them into the home and have no contact with that partner,” says Schooling. But he adds: “Any child protection plan is essentially a written agreement, every child in distress is a… Every plan we make with a family is the same because we don`t live with the families we work with, so we fix what everyone has to do and ask them to register. So why do you need a written agreement? I used it absolutely because it was culture, and I thought it was good and would keep the kids safe. When I think back, I wasn`t thinking SLOWLY enough, I only did the process and it gave me and other agencies the certainty that the parents were newly partitioning. What he made available to parents…. Just a threat… Motivating change through fear… something that would be used against family members to cause more trauma and unrealistic pressure. A social worker who responded to the survey commented that the agreements were “excessive” or could be “vague or unrealistic” and therefore fail families. This interviewee admitted that she was an inexperienced social worker both vaguely and through written agreements. He adds that they still have a place in child protection because they help provide professionals and services with a database and enable social workers to be creative in their use.
He adds: “Where social workers think a written agreement is tantamount to safety, that`s where there`s a greater risk, but sometimes in an easy-to-understand form, what you`re worried about and what you expect from parents, it can be helpful.” It is obvious that any victim in a situation where forced control poses a risk would have great difficulty in complying with such an agreement. “It`s not that simple, it might be better if the abusive person was the one who had to sign the written contract rather than the one who was abused. This is often why they fall and are not effective. A written agreement is a tool often used by child welfare (local authorities) to work with children and families. They can be used when children are subjected to children in distress, child protection plans or children in care who are in care. I think we also need to be much clearer about the terminology of a written agreement, its status and what it means. According to some professionals, this is a signed contract. For others, the concerns of local communities, their expectations of parents and the consequences of not meeting those expectations are identified.
One SCR author suggested that what was introduced could be better described as a “child safety plan.” A number of serious case reviews (IDSs) criticize the way written agreements have been used. In particular, they underline the unrealistic expectations of written agreements for victims of domestic violence. One SCR pointed out that an agreement almost seemed to be a way to protect the agency concerned instead of focusing on the safety of the child. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is worth paying attention to what you need to do regarding communicating and contacting your ex-partner/reporting abuse of a current partner. Are you being asked to sign up for something that is not realistic or safe to expect? Unfortunately, some waiting contracts give responsible responsibility to an abused relative, who is difficult to keep to. If you are concerned, ask to speak privately with the social worker or discuss the proposed wording with your IDVA or YOUR ISVA (see here to learn more about the subject).