Seeing family and friends

Keeping in touch with your family and friends is really important. Contact can include seeing members of your family, speaking to them on the telephone, writing to them or receiving letters, presents or emails.

Your right to see your family

Unless there are very good reasons why not, you should be able to have regular contact with your family. You should also be able to see your friends.

You, your carers and your social worker should agree a plan about how often you should see your family/friends and where it should happen.

What is ‘supervised contact’?

Sometimes the court or social workers decide that it is better for you to see your family with another adult present. This may be because they are worried that you may become upset or that you may get hurt during the visit. This is called supervised contact.

What if you can’t see someone?

Sometimes it may not be a good idea for you to see someone. Social workers can ask the court for an order to stop people from seeing you if they think it will be harmful to you. Even if you can’t see someone, you may still be able to get photographs, letters or cards from them.

What if you don’t want to see someone?

If you are worried about having to see anyone, including your parents, then you do not have to. You must tell your carer or social worker if you don’t want to see someone.

What if you don't like the amount or type of contact you are getting?

It is important that you let someone know what you want, how contact is going or if anything is up setting you about contact. You can talk to your social worker, carer or a worker from Speak Up, York's Children's Rights and Advocacy Service.

How can you keep in touch with your friends?

Children's Social Care should try to find you somewhere to live as near to home as possible. That way you can keep in touch with your friends. Sometimes this may not be possible. If you do have to move away from your friends your social worker and carers should help you to keep in touch if they can. If you have friends who are really important to you, you need to tell your social worker how important this is to you.

Am I allowed to stay overnight with friends?

It is important for you to be able to join in with things your friends are doing, like having sleepovers. If your carers are happy for you to take part in a sleepover, and believe you will be kept safe, this will usually be OK.