As providers of child care, we often get entangled in family dynamics and family crises. It is not unusual for a child care provider to be the point of transition for a child from one parent’s care to the other. For example, mom has the child all week, but dad picks them up from care on Friday night. There are so many different arrangements, there are too many to list here. What is important for you, is that you have a copy of the visitation/supervision court orders...AND you know what to do with it.
If you require a certified copy of all custody orders, it will save you from not knowing what to do when one parent arrives to get the children – you sign them out, and at the usual time the other parent comes to get their children only to find that you have released them.
If the biological parents are not together – it is a good idea to have their custody arrangement provided in writing. If they don’t have a “court ordered” arrangement, you can ask that they write it out and both sign it. Anytime they want to modify the arrangement you can require that you get a new copy that is dated and signed by both parents.
Sole Custody Orders:
A sole custody order is given by a court of law. It will be an official and enforceable court order that will state the child’s name, parent’s names and the terms of the order. These are critical to keep in the child’s file in the facility – and for all employees to be aware.
No Contact Orders:
A no contact order is also very important to have and to be knowledgeable about. No contact orders might be in relation to one or both parents. These are not uncommon and are very important. There is always a compelling reason why a parent’s parental rights have been modified by a court. It is critical that all staff know these orders are in place, what the order states, who is allowed to pick up the child, who is ordered no contact, etc.
These are just a few examples of court orders or formal parenting arrangements that you need to be aware of as a child care provider. It is your responsibility to ensure the child goes from your care into the care of the correct person.