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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35056
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I am currently going through a private family law case

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Hello,I am currently going through a private family law case relating to contact with my infant daughter. At the previous hearing in April I was ordered to complete a parenting programme and provide details of this to the Court by 4th August, ready for the Court to consider at the Final Hearing on 12th August.I had to look very hard for a program that teaches skills in looking after a child as young as my daughter but eventually found one through Barnardos. In late June Barnardos wrote me a letter stating that my self-referral to their program had been accepted and the next one would likely be in July.Since early July I have been regularly calling Barnardos to try and find out the start date of the next programme. Today I received an email from them saying the next programme is likely to be in September, i.e. after the hearing.I've done some online programmes as well but my intention and I imagine the court's expectation was for me to have done an in-person programme by the time of the next hearing.My ex-partner/her representatives have at every hearing pushed for further proceedings. I am certain they will attempt to use this to cause further delay and insist that a final order cannot be made. Is there anything I can do to combat this? I don't believe I will be able to find another programme noting the difficulty I had in finding this one.Many thanks.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion first

Have you approached your local Children Centres?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please see what I have tried below;All Local Children's Centers.
All local council services (e.g. Cardiff Family Information Services)
A Health Visitor my GP put me in touch with.
Also googled to see what is available.

Do you have any friends/relatives with children?

Do you work full time?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do work full time. No, no friends or relatives who currently have children.

Have you asked at the local college about part time child care courses?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've now had a look online. There are some things out there but they are a big step up from what I'm looking for; i.e. these are training for people to start a career in childcare and thus most require at least 16 hour/week commitment and take almost a year.I don't rule these out completely but I think I will still be left with my current issue; that I will not have a parenting programme complete or likely even started before the Final Hearing. Most of the above are either distance learning (so in some ways no improvement from the online courses I've already done) or enrollment doesn't start until September.Is there anything I can do to perhaps try to persuade the Court that an order can be made now, noting that I will (hopefully) doing the Barnardos course in September?

How old is the child and what contact do you have at the moment?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is 10 (very nearly 11) months old. I see her weekly at supported contact centres with an hour of unsupervised contact outside of the centre. Additionally at S7 report has been completed, as part of this there was 1.5 hours of supervised contact.The Cafcass Officer has said that this went well and based on her observations (and other factors) she has recommended unsupervised contact (starting at 4 hours per week). I'm hoping that possibly this could make the delay in parenting programme less of a sticking point.

That is all very positive and provided you can show that you have made every effort to find a course (which you have) and are in fact doing a course in September this should reassure the Court that all is well.

Your ex will no doubt try and challenge this but given the CAFCASS report and the fact that you have already has contact by yourself there should be no problem.

You can try reading Family Breakdown by Penelope Leach as this will give you a vocabulary that will show insight and understanding (which I think you actually have)

You may also find this website useful

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you