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News > Press Releases 2012 > Preparation of a child for contact with a parent following imprisonment

Preparation of a child for contact with a parent following imprisonment

27. 08. 2012

Deputy Ombudsman dealt with a complaint in which a child’s father, who was imprisoned, asked for help regarding the exercise of his parental rights toward his daughter. In the filing he complained that the body for social and legal protection of children was not unbiased and was not acting in the interest of the minor but in the interest of the mother. The complainant pointed out that the mother had not respected the court’s decision, which had laid down an obligation to keep him informed as the father of the daughter, and was not notifying him of significant matters concerning the child. The complainant also pointed out the impossibility to obtain information about his daughter elsewhere, e.g. from the management of a kindergarten and then an elementary school that the daughter was and had been attending.

Deputy Ombudsman found shortcomings in the procedure of the body for social and legal protection, which consisted mainly in the fact that since the imprisonment the authority had not exerted more active influence upon the mother of the minor so that she would seek professional help in the interest of her establishing future contact with the father and prepare the child for this contact in an appropriate manner. The body for social and legal protection has a duty to arrange professional help for the purpose of preparing a minor for contact with its biological father after he is released from prison if it seems necessary in the interest of the child (e.g. since the mother refuses professional advice and the child no longer remembers its father). 

After the intervention of the Deputy, remedy was made in particular thanks to the activity of the body for social and legal protection, which started to exert influence upon the mother to prepare the daughter for the return of her father. Simultaneously, the father made contact with a crisis centre for children.

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