Today’s society has become one that wants to sue people for the smallest of reasons, and with this comes great challenges and legal responsibility. For parents, or those in other situations, permission slips have become commonplace for schools, friends or even a shared parenting arrangement.
These consent letters can be used for a variety of reasons and situations and while following a specific pattern, are customization. Who uses permission letters?
These are used by anyone who needs to provide authorization for medical attention, to give the child permission to attend a school or friend’s event, or any other reason when authorization is needed? Keep in mind that laws will vary from state to state and some require a notary to witness a signature to be valid.
Drafting The Permission Letter
The letter will be drafted dependent upon what and how it is to be used. For starters, these letters should always be addressed to a specific person. If the person’s name is not known, then the general, “To Whom it May Concern” would be appropriate.
If a contact person cannot be identified, and the letter is going to a generic in nature, then put the business name as well, if applicable. These letters can be as complicated or as general as needed. For a school permission slip, not much would be needed and the basic trip dates with authorization and a signature will be sufficient. However, if dealing with medical permissions, it may need to be more in depth.
Depending on the reason for the letter, it may be necessary to explain things in great detail. After all, a person is granting permission for their child or another action to be granted, and defining things and not just using generalizations is important.
If it is a trip with someone, or a school field trip, be sure to leave dates that this permission is granted. These letters are not generally open ended passes; they are usually for a specific period of time. Some states have time limits on how long this sort of letter is good for. Be sure to check local rules on these matters.
Be Sure To Include Pertinent Information
If the content letter is medical in nature, then it may be best to put pertinent information into the letter. Information such as the child’s doctors names, any allergies the child has and any other medical information that might be deemed necessary.
The child’s insurance information and a copy of the card would also be pertinent. The child’s birth certificate and social security card may also be necessary. Again, it is all depending on the regulations for the local hospitals and clinics or agency that authorization is being given too.
For instance, if the parent wants to give permission for medical treatment, but they want to specify a specific hospital, it can be done by putting clauses in the letter.
The Body of The Letter
The letter should be drafted with the full name of the person granting the consent and the activity, as well as any other parties. Make sure that the letter has a place for a signature line and can be signed in front of witnesses or a notary is necessary. If the permission is taking a child across state lines or has something to do with using a credit card or other sensitive details, a notary should always be used.
Sample Letter of Permission
July 2, 2019
To Whom It May Concern,
We, Jennifer and Thomas Wheatley, give permission for our babysitter, Donna King, to provide medical care to our son, Jeffrey Wheatley, in case of an emergency. This permission is to be in place during our absence from July 10 through July 20th, 2019.
Currently, Jeffrey, take three medications, Adderall, Ritalin and Abilify. He is under psychiatric care for his mental health needs. His psychiatrist’s name is Bobbie Jo Kerns, and she is located at 231 E. Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Her phone number is 555-290-8957. Jeffrey’s primary care physician is Dr. Teresa Tenpin.
She is located at 9023 S. High Street in Columbus, Ohio 43215. Her phone number is 555-288-5891. Should emergency medical attention be necessary, then we authorize Jeffrey to be taken to Mt. Carmel East Hospital in Columbus’ East side of town.
This authorization gives our consent for both minor and major medical procedures. In the event surgery is necessary and is a life or death matter, we authorize this. However, if it is something that is questionable in nature, we would like to be called first. We can be reached anytime during our vacation on our cellular phone at 555-879-8512.
This authorization expires upon our return on July 20, 2019. We give our consent for Donna King to be as acting parent and make all decisions necessary and to get treatment when necessary.
Jennifer and Thomas Wheatley