Grandparents have been working with Grandparents Apart Wales and the people associated with it for many years.
We are campaigning for a Charter for Grandchildren here in Wales to help children keep their family connections in the event of their parents separating. We believe that children should have contact with the people they love and who love them. Just because the parents fall out of love with each other, their children will still love them both equally. In many instances had grandparents been involved and consulted at the start of every conflict where there is the involvement of Children’s Agencies, then many children would have been spared both physical and emotional abuse if not worse.
Grandparents both maternal and paternal would be there from the start to support the parents and children, assisting the Children’s Agencies by forging a partnership with them which could only improve the welfare and interests of children saving them from a lot of trauma and unhappiness.
Barnardos have made the news recently by bringing up the issue of care proceedings and we are happy to deal with that as it falls at the door of the Family Courts and Children’s Agencies. This news about care proceedings and the length of time it takes a court to come to a decision has been mentioned extensively in the national news in print, radio and TV but no one has put the children’s interest first as far as family connections are concerned.
Grandparents were never mentioned and they are the biggest carers of children in the UK and we know that they are not consulted during care proceedings; in fact many are kept in the dark as regards what is happening to their grandchildren as they are irrelevant. There are cases where grandchildren are taken from their grandparent’s home even although they are in a stable secure and happy environment and put into care at great expense to public purse. The question we ask is what benefits do the grandparents get for looking after a child. The answer is none in most cases, but when the same child is put into care then people must be paid and when money is implicated then other issues come into the equation.
Would it not be sensible to use the grandparents the same as families do that have no conflict, after all it is a proven fact that grandparents love their grandchildren and the children love them.
Frank Bradfield, Grandparents Apart Wales, 14 Amalfi Court, Craig-y-Don Parade, Llandudno LL30 1BH Telephone No. 01492 874 395 grandparentsapartwales.co.uk