"Bringing Families Together"

"Bringing Families Together"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Grandparents saving abused children.

“The Forgotten Children” 2

Grandparents being ignored by social services is allowing abuse of children to go on behind closed doors. (Out of sight out of mind). We must put an end to this criminal apathy which is world wide.
By their unique relationship grandparents are the favourites for early detection of child abuse but children are being deprived of their protection. The “Charter for Grandchildren” would ensure that grandparents are at least listened to or an explanation to the contrary.

Being ignored by professional’s like social services that work in the welfare of children is a very common complaint that we hear so often from heartbroken Grandparents and their grandchildren. We experience rejection day in and day out. Every time we read a story like the one below or that grandparents could have saved a child from abuse if they were listened to, we get so angry.

When we try to reason with the abusers we get cut off and even court orders are taken out to stop us contacting them at all. As last reluctant desperate attempt to save a child from abuse, we report it to social services who tell us we are just being vindictive, and are irrelevant persons. The attitude that comes across is they don’t want to know. Is it because it means work for them or the money is not allocated to rescue these forgotten children. Criminal apathy.

As the “Charter for Grandchildren” is now the local authority’s responsibility Glasgow City Counsellor Ruth Black has not hesitated n responding to our pleas. Ruth said at a meeting with Grandparents Apart UK that she would raise a motion at a Council sitting early in the new year to have the “Charter for Grandchildren” adopted by professionals under Glasgow’s authority .

N.B. The Charter for Grandchildren gives the children the right to have considered seriously the role that grandparents can play in their in their lives rather than automatic rejection. Full version can be found on www.grandparentsapart.co.uk

Grandmother of slain teen says she repeatedly called the state child abuse hotline

By Michelle Cole, The Oregonian
December 10, 2009, 6:10PM

‘The Charter for Grandchildren’

It is important that parents, grandparents and other family members, speak to, and treat each other, with respect. You may not get on, but you can still be civil, for the sake of the children. Try to avoid arguing with or criticising family members in front of the children. It can be very upsetting for them.

On occasions professional organizations such as social work departments or the courts can become involved and may have to make decisions that will have a lasting impact throughout a child’s entire life. In these circumstances it is vital that the loving and supportive role that the wider family, in particular grandparents can play is utilised to the full

(Grandchildren can expect)

• To be involved with and helped to understand decisions made about their lives.
• To be treated fairly
• To know and maintain contact with their family (except in very exceptional circumstances) and other people who are important to them.
• To know that their grandparents still love them, even if they are not able to see them at the present time.
• To know their family history.
• The adults in their lives to put their needs first and to protect them from disputes between adults - not to use them as weapons in quarrels between adults.
• Social workers , when making assessments about their lives, to take into account the loving and supporting role grandparents can play in their lives.
• The Courts, when making decisions about their lives, to take into account the loving and supporting role grandparents can play in their lives.
• Lawyers and other advisers to encourage relationship counseling or mediation when adults seek advice on matters affecting them and their children.

Along with others, Grandparents Apart UK put a lot of hard work into “The Charter for Grandchildren” by demanding to be heard about the gaps in family law concerning their grandchildren. Why? Because we really do have the best interests of our grandchildren at heart, if it was not for our love of them why would we bother?

The Forgotten Children’

‘The Forgotten Children’ suffering abuse in alcoholic or drug affected homes where no-one, not even members of that family can gain access or know of the neglect or abuse until it reaches the front pages of the media as another child murder.

Why don’t the governments listen to the people who are capable of doing something about it. Why are the governments ignoring the Early intervention that grandparents are best at to save these children from permanent harm.

Quote from a letter from the Government child protection team.
“ Ministers are very aware of the important role that grandparents can play in the development of our young people. It is critical that children are given the right support and, where necessary, protection if we are to ensure their development into confident individuals and effective contributors in our society”.

“It is important that anyone who has concerns about a child's wellbeing should report it. Friends and family members are often best placed to identify where a child may be placed at risk. Any grandparent who has a child protection concern about their grandchild should raise concerns with relevant local agencies”

Words! Words! Words! are all we ever read or hear, a well worn record that comes back from the ministers when we write to them. It goes on and on and never acted upon. It is the duty of a government to protect children from abuse but the government by having the main rescuers (grandparents) excluded is failing in this responsibility.

The governments refuse to act on their own findings and that of children’s organisations that grand parents are often best placed to know their own families faults and addictions to prevent tragedies. But! They are not important enough in the governments eyes to be relevant in children’s lives..

Non Relevant Persons. (We don’t need to talk to you) Is the label slapped on grandparents whenever the social services, courts or professionals who deal with children are questioned about the children’s welfare.

The dilemma faced by thousands of grandparents every day when they suspect a child is being abused is.

!, Do I report it to social services? If I do, will I be the first to lose contact with the children as we are told we are only trying to cause trouble and cut off at the slightest excuse?.

2, If I approach the parents, will they get a court order banning me from the children leaving them alone in their nightmare to carry on being abused.

3, Do I say nothing give in to the parents blackmail and try to ease the suffering to the children in my own way. The fear is, if I wait, will something really terrible happen?

Jimmy Deuchars
Grandparents Apart UK
22 Alness crescent
Glasgow G52 1PJ
0141 882 5658

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