For the petition to be mentioned at all in the Assembly of Wales is an achievement in itself, but for the sake of all grandchildren we feel as an organisation we must continue to advance the thinking as far as protection is concerned and try to end the continuous use of children as weapons in battles for power and revenge by parent against parent and by parent or parents against grandparents.
As the letter from the Assembly which was contained in your attachment made reference to the “Charter for Grandchildren” adopted by the Scottish Parliament I would like to add the Scottish Government created this charter and passed the responsibility on to local authorities. .
We are very excited that “The Charter for Grandchildren” is finally making headway in Glasgow. They are getting it right. With their experience listening to the government, knowing what is best for children and their families they have put forward a proposal that appears to be acceptable to the local authorities. With the Charter for Grandchildren, grandparents will have all they need to be relevant in their grandchildren’s lives. Counsellor, Ruth Black of Glasgow City Chambers, is to raise a motion at a council meeting to have the social services adopt the Charter. Should it succeed in Glasgow then it will set a precedence for other authorities in Scotland to adopt it and it is hoped that Wales and the rest of the UK will follow their example.
All the governments and local authorities say grandparents are very important in children’s lives and it is well known that they are the biggest carer of children in crisis and can be the first for early detection of abuse of children.. So how can governments fail to adopt the Charter for Grandchildren in this day of rising drug and alcohol problems in families? Grandparents save the authorities a fortune in child care. Adopting the Charter will give children the right to have their grandparents considered seriously by professionals, such as social services, or other Children’s Agencies. Just imagine the additional contribution they can make.
It is my experience that grandparents have no enforceable rights in law and many have spent thousands of pounds to have Court Orders issued in their favour only to be dismissed and ignored by the parent, causing them much anguish and pain and left with the dilemma of just what to do to move forward, and at what expense while their grandchildren suffer the emotional stress and pain.
Grandparents do not wish to interfere with the laws of the land they just wish to be recognised by the children’s agencies and to be part of the proceedings that relate to their grandchildren. It is recognised by governments how much grandparents contribute to the welfare of the country so why can their grandchildren not have their charter and that charter made mandatory to the children agencies.
Finally although the committee the deputy assures the committee of the Welsh Government values relating to the rights of grandparents in terms of their contract and she cited contact, care, education and broader development of grandchildren’s welfare.
Well regretfully this just does not happen in many cases in Wales and it is to this end that families suffer.
Frank Bradfield, Grandchildren Apart Wales, 14 Amalfi Court, Craig-y-Don Parade, Llandudno. LL30 1BH.
Telephone No 01492 874 395