It can be tricky being caught between parents, new partners of parents, and lawyers and it's never easy trying to determine what information if any you can and should share and where the line is between privacy rights and responsibilities and duties as a parent.
This article discusses key issues that have arisen, and may arise for an early childhood service when parents separate and it provides guidance on developing a good policy for your centre or home-based group.
These issues include whom to release a child to, what information to share, talking to the lawyer representing the child and dealing with requests from anyone else for information.
Points for you to consider including in your policy, discuss amongst your team and consult with families and others about are provided below.
A child’s parents, as shown on the child’s birth certificate are usually assumed by schools and early childhood services to be legally responsible for, and have legal authority in relation to, their child. That is unless you have viewed a custody order giving legal responsibility and authority to one parent only or to someone else through legal guardianship being assigned by the court to someone else or an agency.
Dropping off a Child and Collecting a Child
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