Another said: “They don`t matter. They do not ensure the safety of the child. My municipality does not use it as a practice. It`s easy for parents to misinterpret what they mean. This is often an instinctive response to ensure safety without completing a safety plan or actual change work to affect a situation. They are often used to treat men differently – by restricting contact, which is not legal for the local authority if a man has [parental responsibility] for his children. I think these are shabby exercises. Note, however, that if Child Safety Services believes your child is vulnerable, Child Safety Services may refer the matter to the Director of Child Protection Litigation to apply to a court for an order granting Child Safety Services custody or guardianship of your child. Therefore, it is important that parents do not sign a written agreement if they believe they cannot adhere to what is written on the agreement.
Parents should also know that if they think something in the written agreement is unfair, they need to say so. Even if parents are willing to do what is requested, but they want help, they should ask for that help to be identified and included in the written agreement. Child Safety Services may consider working with parents through a Parenting Intervention Agreement (API) as an alternative to applying for a child protection order in court. .