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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71142
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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When someone is on the sex offenders register they are not

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When someone is on the sex offenders register they are not allowed unsupervised contact with children even those from their own family. However we have now been informed that this restriction applies until children are 18 years of age and has no relationship to the time the person is on the register. Is this correct?
It seems to me that when someone has completed their sentence, including their time on the register, and they have not re-offended that they should have similar rights to everyone else. I fully agree that perpetrators have to serve their sentence as they have committed the crime. Of course they can never work with children but to say they cannot have unsupervised contact with children in the family seems to me to be extending the sentence past that set by the courts.
If there was some sort of risk assessment process in place that looked at the nature of the offence and what has happened since conviction I could understand. I am aware that there are many variations in offences that people on the register have committed, from very serious offences where children are harmed or killed to offences where people have looked at pictures on line. However to lump everyone in together (which I understand is a criticism of the register) seems to go against peoples human rights.
Basically my question is can social services impose a restriction on someone having unsupervised access past their time on the register without some sort of risk assessment to check whether that person presents a risk to the children in their family?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Yes. I am sorry but that is the short answer. They can and they will.
Social services act under an entirely different basis to the orders of the criminal courts. They are assessing harm and risk and clearly a person who has been on the register and was, at least at one point, restricted from having contact with children is likely to give rise to risk that they cannot just discount.
In terms of assessments, it is very difficult to achieve that really. At the moment social services are in the business of acting upon any risk as they do not want to be criticised. In fairness, if there were a subsequent incident the fact that social services had not acted upon this information would not be well received.
In terms of your other points, social services have no interest in the rights of the adult. Their interest is in safeguarding the child.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would social services have to undertake an assessment if requested to do so by the children's parents at the end of the 10 year registration period?

Is it acceptable to ask social services why they have changed the goalposts as they have also stopped one child from staying overnight even though he has done so for the past 3 years under the conditions laid down by social services eg not to be left unsupervised? nothing has changed other than the age of the child and if anything he is now old enough to say if anything worried him where he could not when he was younger.

I know and agree that children's safety is paramount but it does seem that conditions of contact are changed depending on who the social worker is, which is also very confusing for the child who can do something one day but not the next.

No. Their concern is not the wishes of the parents but the safety of the child. Obviously they do sometimes deal with parents who are not all that interested in the welfare of their children.
You can ask social services that. Anybody can ask anything. Whether they get an answer is another matter. I would imagine that they have just assessed the situation again. You have to bear in mind that this will be one of many other children under their gaze and probably they just hadn't reviewed it until recently.
You are right though. Risk assessments are a judgement call and some people have sounder judgement than others and some people are willing to take risks.
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