Family and Children
In the case of Re F (a child) (contact order: failure to consider proposed arrangements)  a father won his appeal against a refusal of direct contact with his son.
The mother and father were parents of two children, A and K. A lived with the mother and K with the paternal grandmother. Both parents were classed as vulnerable. The mother visited the grandmother with the children up to six times a year.
Applications were made on behalf of the father by the Official Solicitor for the initiation of direct contact between the father and A. The local authority concluded that direct contact, properly managed could be of benefit to A. The practical difficulty was that of location. The mother lived in Staffordshire and the father in Oakham.
The father outlined the possibility of him having contact with A when he visited the grandmother with supervision in place. The scenario was not considered by the children’s guardian in her report. At the hearing the father’s application was dismissed.
The father successfully appealed. There was no sufficient explanation as to why the most practical and least difficult option had not been evaluated by the judge before being dismissed.
The case was sent to be heard at the Crown Court with specific instruction to consider contact at the grandmother’s house.