Written chords are not worth the paper on which they are written… How do you keep children safe? This is not the Weiles. Why would an offender sign a written agreement and accept these conditions? If a child is so vulnerable, remove it for your own safety. The review added: ”Good practice would indicate that written agreements are a statement of concern and advice from the local authority to one of the parents, that they are not a contract and therefore are not required for parents to sign their agreement.” She says that such circumstances can often lead social workers to abduct children from someone who is being abused because they are not able to prevent the perpetrator from doing things set out in the written agreement. Written agreements can also be used as an instrument to reassure other agencies. I remember a visit to CP where the police officer wanted to have a child. The officer was clearly inexperienced in CP and I did not think the threshold had been reached in any way, so I used a written agreement such as ”smoke and mirror” to assure the police that the child would be safe. Although not worth the paper her writes on the agreement reassures the police that the mother would work with us. It worked, and after a thorough evaluation, the mother and child stayed together and prospered. I think it`s real social work. Over time, they have become part of the accepted instrument of social work. We see how they are used over and over again. However, little or no formal research supporting their use.
As a sector, do we need to talk about how and when written agreements should be used? Personally, that is what I think. The first thing to understand is that whatever it is called, a waiting contract is not a contract. A contract is a binding agreement between two or more parties (persons or legal bodies) that can be enforced by a court. This is not a contract law course, but in simple terms, there are three fundamental components of a contract, and without all three, it is not a contract: ”I can understand why there are controversies about it. We are often jargonists in what we do. Sometimes we don`t understand what`s written in the agreement, let alone families – especially if we use generic terms like ”risk” or ”significant damage,” Birchall admits. Agreements written in the context of domestic abuse were also questioned in Ayeeshia-Jayne Smith`s serious magazine. The author, Jenny Myers, said: ”They can be effective if adults and s`s are at the heart of their development, feel they can meet realistic expectations, and they are aware of the consequences of their non-compliance.” One or more of them will usually be absent when the document is agreed (often all 3).