The other aspect of the medal here is that a waiting contract can give parents a framework or guide for the kind of things they should focus on to make sure they keep their children or pick them up at the end of the process – but it is important for parents to understand that holding on to an agreement is not a guarantee of a particular outcome. Sometimes parents have ticked everything off the list, but there are concerns – for example, social workers may think that parents are just going through the applications without really understanding why they need to make changes, or maybe if they don`t really believe they were necessary. It is often referred to as “disguised compliance” (no fault if we didn`t do that) and in this situation, social workers will be concerned that, although a parent can “talk,” things can go back as they were when they resigned because the parents did not make profound changes. It is important for parents to think about why they were asked to make practical changes or take certain steps so that they can understand why social workers were worried and keep children safe in the future, instead of just thinking – if I do these 5 things, I get the kids back. One or more of them will usually be absent when the document is agreed (often all 3). Many, but not all, of these documents will say, “This agreement is not legally binding” – a clear indication that the local authority has no intention of establishing legal relations. And there is rarely a genuine exchange of values – a parent is invited to sign by promising to do x or not – although a parent can hope that the continuation of the agreement will result in the local authority feeling that it can end its participation, it is very unlikely that there is a clear promise : if parents do x, y and z, they can have their children back (for example). Every local authority has a constant duty to protect children on their territory, and there are times when, even if the parents have done everything they do and have “checked all the boxes”, another risk has arisen, which means that the local authority has yet to take action (imagine that a parent agrees to stop using drugs and go to rehab). and they do — but in the meantime, they are involved in a relationship with someone they know is a sex offender and puts their children at risk — social services may have to do something or stay involved because of the new risk. It would be contrary to public policy for social services to attach themselves to a contract that could mean that they could not fulfil their duty to protect a child. 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.
When social services assess whether a child can stay at home, or even sometimes when a child can return home after being taken care of, they may ask a parent to follow different routines or techniques, for example to communicate problems with management or behaviours or limitations, to stick to a sleep routine , to clean it regularly. not to make people drink at home, to report drug relapses – to check if the parent is able to do these things consistently and collaborate with the local authority.