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Old hurts or let the children talk

“I haven’t seen my kids in 7 months, I miss them. They say my daughter has started walking, the older boys are in kindergarten. They live with my ex-partner. We communicate only by email”, the father told the coordinator during the personal meeting.

The mother described her situation in the following words: “The father is not interested in the children. I have offered him several times that he can come to see us. He has not come even once. The best thing would be for him to give up fatherhood. He’s been angry to us. The children are afraid of him and don’t want to see him. Neither do I anymore. I have a new partner who loves us.”

The social worker offered the parents the possibility of an out-of-court agreement about the father’s contact with the children at FGC. Both agreed but were sceptical.

“There is no way my ex-partner’s mother will be there, she hurt me a lot. I can’t stand the sight of her. And not to be at the same table with her. And his friend definitely won’t be there either. That’s my final word,” the mother argued. When asked by the coordinator about the mother’s parents’ attendance, she was told that they were busy and would definitely not come.
The father, however, insisted on his mother’s participation. However, he agreed not to invite his friend. 

The coordinator relayed the children’s mother’s concerns about the father’s mother’s presence with the children’s great-grandmother. “But I think she should be there, I’ll explain it to my granddaughter,” the great-grandmother offered to help.
“I’m afraid of the children’s reaction when they see the father and his family. They don’t like them. They don’t want to see them. We’ll be shouting at each other, they shouldn’t hear that,” the mother worried about the children’s presence at FGC.

„It’s important for me to see how they will react, after all the aim of the FGC is to plan their future contacts,“ supported children´s presence their social worker.

The conference was attended by 12 adults, including the mother’s parents,. Despite the initial tense atmosphere and the children’s aunt very emotional reaction to children´s father, the rest of FGC took place in a calm atmosphere. The children played and ran around, during break time they played with their father in the outdoor playground.
The participants had lively discussions and agreed that parent´s new partners would be present during the father-child contacts during the adaptation period.


A story from the Czech Republic

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