Another really important discussion we had focussed on what happens when a case is closed but the abuse is ongoing, and the child is not happy. One of our members had a three-month supervised contact order put in place to protect her from the abusive behaviour of her father. Afterwards her dad remained abusive, and she asked: “how does protecting children from abuse have a cut-off point? Supervised contact should only stop with changed behaviour, but his behaviour didn’t change.”
What has this story taught us?
- In cases of abuse, courts should review the effectiveness of the court order in place.
- Professionals should create a support network and a post-closure plan, so the young person can turn to someone when they feel things aren’t working out.