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Children’s Act 1989 –
Child Arrangement Order

Mr A, a local person was referred from within the Bangladesh community He required support to gain direct and indirect contact with his young daughter who, following a relationship breakdown, had no contact for over 12 months. The challenges of a limited minimum wage income and a very basic command of English meant that Mr A required support with an application under schedule 8 of the Children’s Act 1989 for contact. He had no entitlement to legal aid due to the 2012 LASPRO Act which reduced legal aid to all those but the most vulnerable.

Mr A was supported with all documentation, McKenzie Friend court attendance through a preliminary hearing and a final hearing, working with CAFCASS and the court supplied translator. Further support was given through administering the resultant order for direct contact and indirect contact through the local YMCA children’s centre in order that all contact was in a safe, comfortable venue that fully respected the development impact upon both father and daughter.

We continue to support Mr A with a further application to vary the original court order following the repair of his marriage and navigating him toward English language study, resulting in the administrative support of his application to become a local taxi driver.

SO Support Cost – £50 per hour. Total Hours 24. Total Cost £1,200.00
High Street Equivalent – c £10.000

C100 Application £1,500
Preliminary Administration, Support and Attendance £1,200
Final Hearing Administration, Support and Attendance £4,000
Administering YMCA Childrens Centre Application £200
Administering Taxi Application £400
Application to vary order and attendance £2,700

SOCIAL IMPACT 
Positive Social Impact:
Personal – Mr A has an increased knowledge of legal matters and rights. Knows and understands his legal rights and responsibilities and ultimately feels empowered to demand his rights.
He has a positive experience of care and a good understanding of his own circumstances and can better manage his mental health and emotional well-being.
Is more confident, emotionally balanced and is resilient in the face of difficulties.
He now as a sense of purpose, engages in meaningful and fulfilling activity, and has aspirations for the future. Mr A experiences overall satisfaction with life.
Financial – Manageable costs to achieve a positive outcome ensure personal stability, confidence, contributions to the community and future possibilities.
Community – Community is stronger and more tolerant, because people from all backgrounds are supported and are able to be involved in community groups, this encourages community development and increases local community assets.
Local spending adds to local economic growth and stability.

Without SO Support
If Mr A did not receive any professional help or assistance to move forward with this situation this would potentially causing further discord between him and his ex-partner. This is proven to have an enormous impact on the individuals, their social and financial circumstances as well as their mental and physical health.

Lack of contact with a parent and being exposed to increased tension, anxiety and disagreements within the core family can cause the child to be at high risk of short and long term problems with mental health, education and social navigation into adulthood.

Had he obtained legal support at a substantially increased cost this would likely cause considerable financial problems, debt and mental and physical health issues immediately and for many years following.