I was speaking to Cathy Jamieson MP and MSP on Saturday 13th November. Ms Jamieson was the Justice Minister that presided over the creation of the Charter for Grandchildren in 2006. The Charter was created because of the evidence we presented to her showing how children were being denied the love and support of their grandparents. She still feels there is a need for closer unity between children and their grandparents.
Ms Jamieson was a social worker in the eighties and did say that the family was her first point of call when children were in a crisis situation. We don’t deny that, but too often it is only a stop-gap and it is well known that a misuse of family love and loyalty is used (blackmail) by Social Services “If you don’t take the children now and always agree with us, the children will be adopted and you will never see them again”. Then they are later removed when ‘official’ foster carers are found, many later to be adopted.
David Crawford states that the guidance contained in The Charter for Grandchildren is already Social Service practice. If that is the case then why are there so many grandparents reporting otherwise? They can’t all be unsuitable carers.
We need to know that proper consideration of grandparents first as carers is included in social worker training. We need to see the training programme that is taught.
Are social workers themselves to blame by not doing their job as they should?
Or is it a management fault of not being aware of their staff’s actions?
Are social workers under pressure to cut corners for the sake of workload and costs? Too many unanswered questions because there are still too many problems being reported to us and in the media.
The media and Councils’ own advertising confirm that Social Service departments across the country, including Mr Crawford’s are short of foster carers. They badly need the help and support of an army of willing grandparents that are available to do just that. So why do Social Services not use every means at hand for keeping children within the familiar caring and protection that grandparents and extended family can offer whenever possible? The children would benefit from the security and stability and councils would save money. It beggars belief that such a simple solution seems so difficult for Social Services to put into practice.