Parents Travel Costs Relating to Court Proceedings
This chapter was added to the manual in October 2012.This should be read together with Supervised Contact and the Hertfordshire Contact Service Procedure.
Particularly during care proceedings Children's Specialist & Safeguarding Service (Children's Services) is asked to meet travel expenses in different circumstances.
- A parent/carer with Parental Responsibilities (PR), (or his or her advocate), frequently ask Children's Services to meet the parent/carers travel expenses to court. Children's Services is not responsible for meeting this cost. The parent/carer with PR 's legal representatives should apply for this cost from legal aid;
- A parent/carer with PR may incur costs travelling to a residential assessment regarding capacity to parent, and as part of care proceedings. Children's Services will meet this cost for parents on benefit or equivalent as part of the placement cost;
- A parent/carer with PR may incur costs travelling to an expert assessment as part of care proceedings. These costs should be met by parent's legal aid;
- Contact. Children's Services will pay contact costs for parents who are in receipt of state benefits only (including National Asylum Support Service (NASS) payments). Parents who are in employment will need to pay their own travel costs.
CSF will pay public transport costs or petrol costs at 14p per mile only to parents in receipt of benefits and this will be paid via Central Placement Service (CPS) to ensure consistency.
Long distance travel will be via coach. Hotel and subsistence costs for parents will not be payable except on severe hardship grounds, agreed in advance by CPS. Wherever possible, travel warrants will not be used and staff must contact CPS so the cheapest fares can be booked in advance.
No taxis will be used to transport parents to and from contact except on medical/disability grounds on receipt of a letter from the parent's GP. Taxis, where needed, can only be arranged via Brokerage Team.