Gordon Brown Said there are 50,000 Dysfunctional families in Britain today.. With an average of 2 children in a family this gives us 100,000 children living in dysfunctional homes. More and more children are being taken into care when they could be kept in the love and stability of their grandparents. The problem is overcoming the help available and the authorities have reduced the care to a grossly inadequate budget and treating children as commodities like a business deal. (costs before child welfare)
Grandparents because of their unique insight into their family's shortcomings know what their grandchildren need and can provide stability and a home environment normally not available in care. Social services do not recognise them as relevant persons in their grandchildren's lives and are told "we don't need to talk to you" It is never in a child's best interest to remove them to strangers.
Social services and the governments need to accept that grandparents could be in a better position than any other organisation and they are usually willing to accommodate children in a crisis situation. So they should be the first point of contact rather than go into care which demoralises children and makes them bitter and creates behaviour problems.
Why children need to be treated better.
Have you ever thought why society is getting more violent and muggings are on the increase. Why you are afraid to open your door or go out at night.. Why you are afraid to phone the police for fear of reprisals. Children are not being taught the respect, love and stability they need to grow up into decent citizens. It is well known that too many children taken into care become non achievers in life and grow up turning to gangs for that family belonging and have little respect for society.
Think about it when you next see a newspaper that carries a story of old women getting attacked or maybe yourself getting mugged or your house broken into. Everyone needs to make sure children are treated right.
The Charter for Grandchildren does not give grandparents any rights of contact with their grandchildren but it contains all a grandparent needs to be recognised seriously in their lives if it were to be adopted.
The Charter for Grandchildren if mandatory gives the children the right to expect professionals to comply with it or give reasons to the contrary. The ethos of the Charter is when anyone is dealing in the welfare of children the role grandparent’s play must be considered seriously for their welfare if children are alone or have been abused or taken into care rather than go to strangers.
About the ‘Charter for Grandchildren’
Children need stability.
Under normal circumstances our firm belief is that children should have two parents in their lives and grandparents as a close back up if the parents are not available.
The Charter for Grandchildren focuses purely on the best interests of the children. It is also for professionals to consider more seriously the role grandparents can play in the lives of their grandchildren (or a reason given for not complying) rather than the children suffering forced adoption, going into care or to strangers.
The Charter for Grandchildren was created by a Scottish Government with our input and other interested groups. Our group was praised by the Justice Minister from the floor of parliament for the work we had done.. The Charter was created as advisory but has been completely ignored by professionals working in the welfare of children. Every day we hear of children cut of from the stability that their grandparents love and protection could provide.
Glasgow City Chambers with cross party support, enthusiastically voted to accept the Charter for Grandchild on 18th February 2010. The Full Council gave Grandparents Apart UK a standing ovation for their work in this field.
It is well known that a big percentage of children brought up in care become non achievers in life and usually end up joining gangs for that family feeling of belonging that they were robbed of when they were removed from the family.
We sent out a questionnaire to 500 grandparents asking them how they were received when they were anxious about their grandchildren’s welfare. The results were condemning. Irrelevant/indifferent treatment by the courts, lawyers not giving the correct legal advice, and social services with false reporting, phantom meetings and even telling children their family does not want to see them, and we have the proof of these in our book “Grandparents Speak out for Vulnerable Children”
Children need to be kept in a stable home environment wherever possible or there is a good chance they grow up to be the thugs of the future.
We need everyone to inform their local authority to accept the “Charter for Grandchildren” in its entirety because it was created by a legal team of the Scottish government whose only focus was the best interests of children.
The head of Glasgow Social services always reluctant for change has stated what is contained in the Charter for Grandchildren is already part of their standard practice. If that be the case then they are implying that thousands of grandparents from throughout the UK that have contacted us for help have been untruthful (telling lies) in saying they were not considered by social services regards their grandchildren.. “What a bloody cheek”, yes I repeat “what a bloody cheek” coming from an organisation who are infamous in every country of the UK for the very untruths they infer grandparents are telling.
The reason for campaigning for “The Charter for Grandchildren” was because our experience and research has shown that Grandparents were not being considered to be relevant and were being left out by Professionals, in particular Social Workers, when decisions were being about the welfare of children.
There was clearly enough evidence of this to convince a Labour Scottish Government to create the Charter for Grandchildren and promote the need for grandparents to be considered more in children’s lives. When labour GCC was the first council in Scotland to adopt “The Charter for Grandchildren” we were very proud.
The Farce About Grandparents Rights
Removing the need for grandparents to ask a courts permission to go to court is no significant step forward. It is no legal right to your grandchildren. Scotland has been operating like this for years and it has cost some of our members dearly in legal fees The present requirement of seeking courts permission is like a form of safety net for grandparents who do not have a good case.
If the grandparents fulfil the criteria, Ie have had a close and loving relationship not to far in the past with their grandchildren and it would be clearly harmful to the children to discontinue contact then a judge will probably give the grandparents permission to go to court. Their case could be said to have a chance of succeeding albeit in the best interests of the child.
If they do not fulfil these criteria then they will be more likely refused permission saving them wasting the courts time and paying for a lawyer for a case that has very little chance of succeeding.
We did a questionnaire (In our book? Grandparents Speak out for Vulnerable Children?) and the replies condemned the legal profession for not giving the right advice? Animosity? is the main obstacle against contact orders being successful. The guardian of the child quickly learns through a certain Woman’s organisation that if they throw a strop in court the grandparents are refused contact because animosity in the relationship will reflect on the child.
?Non compliance of court orders? After the grandparents have spent a fortune and obtained a contact order, the guardian of the child has again been educated in ways of getting away with not compiling. Then the court order is not worth the paper it is written on.
The last time in Scotland it was said that grandparents were getting rights to their grandchildren which was defeated in a vote in Scottish Parliament caused a backlash from parents saying they strongly object to grandparents having any rights and caused a rift between parents and grandparents.
This must not be allowed to happen.
Grandparents Apart UK
22 Alness crescent
Glasgow G52 1PJ
0141 882 5658
Kilmarnock - 01560 322 937.
Llandudno Wales.- 01492 874 395.