Does anyone have a policy that addresses child custody arrangements during separation, divorce, and domestic violence incidents?
We have had several contentious divorces with parents who became untrusting of the spouse they are divorcing. We have also had one parent threaten the other with violence or taking the child away. Often the parents are asking us not to allow children to be picked up by the other parents that is a biological parent. We have said we must have the custody arrangements in writing from the courts with a judges signature. We do not like to be put in the middle of people's problematic separations asking us not to allow the child to go with the other parent. We are not comfortable being asked to police the other parent. We now say it is best to keep your child at home if there is a threat of physical violence or kidnapping against the parent or the child or both. We feel that we cannot deny the parents access to the child unless it is stated in court documents with the judges signature. Do any of you already have a policy that addresses this issue.
If Someone Such as a Police Officer or CPS Worker Comes to Talk With a Child
It is rare, but possible that someone representing an outside agency will come to the center to speak with a specific child without first obtaining parent permission. This will most likely be a social worker from CPS or a police officer. If the person coming has the jurisdiction to see the child, and their visit is related to the safety and well-being of the child or another person – say, a social worker following up on a report of suspected abuse, or a police officer investigating a domestic violence complaint or conducting a well-child check – we will allow the person to see and speak with the child. We will make every effort to stay with the child through the conversation if we are allowed to do so. If a person such as a police officer comes to talk with the child, and it has to do with a matter not directly related to an investigation or the child's wellbeing – say, as a witness – we will make a sincere, legal effort to not allow them to see or talk with the child until we have contacted campus authorities, contacted a parent or guardian, and obtained their permission. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the scenarios listed above or the center's policies in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact the director.