Who is an Ex Partner and When Should they be Contacted?
What Constitutes Contact?
We will only visit adult children if they live within a 30 mile radius. If outside of this, send a letter. If there is no response to the letter then follow up with a telephone call.
Regarding the ex partner where there are no children from the relationship - we suggest letter only. If there is no reply to the letter, then telephone. If there is no address for contact or the person is not contactable, then record this on the file unless other risk factors emerge in assessment.
What are we Checking?
Child Protection matters and the ability to parent.
What if they Refuse to?
If there are good reasons seek a view from Panel before proceeding. E.g. Unresolved issues.
Information will be shared unless this poses a serious risk to the referee.
Grandparents/ Significant Support Figure
It is agreed that visiting a grandparent or significant other should be a standard part of the assessment if they are likely to be involved as a major support or if there are concerns re: extended family.
To write to current employers, use the standard reference request form with an accompanying letter. In addition, contact the previous employer if that employment was in a caring profession.
Headteachers/Nursery Teachers/Health Visitors
Contact to be made with the headteacher if there is a school age child in the family; nursery teacher if in pre school and health visitor if pre school.
In addition if a child has a disability or special needs then contact should be made with the professionals involved with the family directly. It may be a psychologist/paediatrician/ psychotherapist/ GP. (Adapt sample letter to head teacher for this purpose).
Interviews with ex partners are sometimes difficult and it is helpful to have some ideas about the areas to cover in the interview.
It is envisaged that the interviewer will engage the ex partner in a general discussion acknowledging that the relationship has ended.
It is important to look at the strengths in the relationship:
Some ideas about what to ask adult children of applicants when we interview them: