Regardless of the reason for FaCs involvement, its a traumatic and overwhelming moment when your children are taken from you. Once you emerge from the chaos with the realisation that you won’t be seeing your kids as often as you’d like, your next thought is likely to be about getting them back for good. Depending on your matter, restoration (getting your kids back) may not be a realistic possibility in the future. However, when there is a reasonable chance of restoration you need to be doing everything you can to change your circumstances and create a suitable environment for them to come back to.
What is Parental Responsibility?
It is important to understand parental responsibility because this is what changes when your children are removed. Naturally, when a child is born their parents will have equal parental responsibility for that child. This means that you have the responsibility and rights associated with making long term decisions for that child. It includes decisions about things like schooling, medical care, religion and living arrangements. When children are removed, these powers are generally given to FaCs so that they can make decisions about the child’s welfare.
Summary of Proposed Plan (SOPP)
The SOPP is a document that outlines the minimum outcomes you will need to achieve in seeking restoration. It also sets of services and courses you may need to attend, and will advise whether FaCs believe there is a realistic possibility of restoration if you were to follow their recommendations.
Care Plans and Restoration Plans
Once the children are removed, a care plan is presented that outlines what will happen to the children. It talks about where they will be living and what will happen to them with they are not in your care. At the same time, if there is a reasonable chance that restoration will occur in the future, a restoration plan will be made too. Your input may be considered in the plan.
A restoration plan is a document which outlines what you need to do to have your children restored to you. Depending on the issues you’re facing that led to the removal in the first place, this might mean you have to attend domestic violence counselling, drug and alcohol counselling, or perhaps even rehab. A lot of the time it involves finding stable and safe accommodation so that if the children are returned the children will have a secure living environment. You will want to complete any recommendations on the restoration plan in order to give yourself a realistic chance of restoration
When the children were removed, orders were made to give parental responsibility for your child to someone other than yourself. A section 90 application seeks to reverse those orders and thus return parental responsibility to you. In order to be successful this type of application many factors will be considered. In general, there needs to be a significant change in circumstances, and the restoration plan will be the guide of what you need to do in order to be on the right track for success.