Friday, January 15, 2010
Grandparents. The Way Forward For Family Unity.
We are determined to be relevant persons in our grandchildren’s lives. Our group has been on the go now for 10 years now and we have had our successes with The Charter for Grandchildren and raising the profile of grandparents to the extent of the huge media coverage we have generated. At the end of the day we still are not relevant in our grandchildren’s lives and don’t intend slogging away for another ten years singing the same song that is not being heard, in fact being ignored now by the governments of the UK.
A fresh approach
Every government of the UK and all over the world have refused point blank to give grandparents automatic legal rights to their grandchild. Under our pressure The Scottish Government had a vote in parliament in 2005 for grandparents having rights to their grandchildren. That was strongly voted a no no! We also experienced a backlash from fathers/mothers groups strongly objecting to grandparents having any legal rights. We knew there would be some objections but at the scale that it was it would cause a huge rift in families. We cannot afford to be divided like this. We believe that there should be equal parenting and that the children are the responsibility of both parents with grandparents in a close supporting family role. We are in the business of, our motto (“Bringing Families Together”) and we will not fall for divide and conquer.
So we looked again at what the government was saying. They are quite content to have created the Charter for Grandchildren so we concentrated on what was acceptable and set about elaborating on it. It is an excellent document but the only real problem was, it was only advisory and has no teeth leaving children without the protection of their grandparents.
If grandparents were not getting rights to their grandchildren then how could the governments refuse the rights being conferred on the children? It is obvious blatant that every means of protection for children is required and used because of the drug and alcohol culture that is a huge dilemma and cost to the authorities today? It is criminal not to use the protection of early detection of child abuse and care that grandparents can offer and at a fraction of the cost to the public purse.
We have experienced over 3 years of the charter but it has not been as successful as hoped, being advisory. Children are still being deprived of the benefits their grandparents can give them by the professionals that work with children. Being advisory was not enough for them to change their policies especially social services that are a huge disappointment in complying with the governments wishes. We needed the Charter to have teeth to make it work. If not for grandparents then it should be for the children.
Grandchildren must have the legal right to the role grandparents can play in their lives for their best interest with an explanation if they are not considered. Grandparents would then be relevant and considered in their grandchildren’s lives. It may not be the rights they want but it will be the rights the children need them to have.
Grandparents Apart UK
22 Alness crescent
Glasgow G52 1PJ
0141 882 5658
15th January 2010