"Bringing Families Together"

"Bringing Families Together"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Charter for Grandchildren. Letter to all Glasgow Councillors

As you all know The Charter for Grandchildren was considered on 26th August 2010. We have asked for an explanation of the outcome below but our emails have not been answered. We ask again if an explanation of where the Charter for Grandchildren is going now. Remember the longer this is delayed the more children are losing out.

The Glasgow City Council minutes pertaining to the meeting relating to The

Charter for Grandchildren which was held on 26th August 2010 without our knowledge
or invitation.

3.1. The attached charter outlines the rights of children and the responsibilities
of statutory agencies which are already in legislation, primarily the Children
(Scotland) Act 1995 and the Adoption Act (Scotland) 2009, which ensure that in making
decisions on the lives of children a full assessment of need should be undertaken
involving all relevant people. The definition of relevant people includes grandparents.

3.2. It is proposed therefore that the Council is able to acknowledge that
the rights of children and the role that grandparents play is already understood and part
of the practice in working with children and their families.

We would like to respond as follows.

The definition of relevant people includes grandparents?

Have social services made a new law now accepting that grandparents are relevant
persons in their grandchildren’s lives. H. Burgess from the Scottish Government
Law Division has just sent me a letter telling me grandparents have no rights
to their grandchildren. Has this head of social services lost the plot?

The Scottish Law Society is also considering this letter from H. Burgess as
we put to them that lawyers are saying on Radio and TV that grandparents do
have rights, causing massive confusion to our members. They said they will
reply after consideration by their sub committee.

The head of
Glasgow Social services 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 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 cheek coming from an

organisation who are infamous in every country of the UK for the very untruths they

infer grandparents are

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 he Charter for Grandchildren we were very proud to
be notified of this but we now feel it has been abandoned by the omnipotent
power of Social Services and communication from GCC councillors has been skimpy
and some have ignored us altogether.

We asked

1, Does your Social Work Dept. recognise that there is a shortfall in considering
Grandparents more fully?

2, What new Guidance has been brought in to help guide and support your Staff
in implementing The Charter for Grandchildren if you already practice it.

3, Which monitoring procedures are being used to police what social workers
are telling grandparents? Is it true Social Workers can tell lies as long as
they say it is in the best interests of children?

4, Every member of Grandparents Apart
UK has been referred to their MSP in
Scotland and MP in England and they in turn ultimately have been unable to
help because Social Services do not regard grandparents as relevant persons.

5, Social services have taken advantage of grandparents in a crisis by telling
them if they don’t or can’t take their grandchildren in they will never see
them again as they will be adopted. What grandparent could or would refuse
their flesh and blood in the middle of the night or if their parents were in
jail or hospital then lose them again when it is convenient for social services.

6, Grandparents are afraid to contact social services because they are always
first to lose contact with their grandchildren when social services become

Our group is not just on a campaign against social services we really believe
that the facts strongly tell us that social services¿ policies are not the
best that can be done for vulnerable children.

Social Services are an essential service because of today’s drug and alcohol
culture where grandparents could/should play a role caring for children and
in early detection of child neglect and abuse. Our aim is to improve the communication
of grandparents and social services in our children’s best interest and to
promote the use of mediation that the governments would like to see practised.

Before we really start talking seriously about mediation there are a few points
that need to be cleared up. Attitudes need to change somewhat to lay the foundations
for mediation to succeed.. The set up as described below does not in anyway
encourage mediation. In fact it is detrimental to mediation

Why would mothers consider it when everything is going their way as it is?
The government funds these organisations and their very working is in contradiction
to the government saying families should work in harmony and grandparents are
important to children. How can grandparents be important in children’s lives
if they don’t get the chance and are regarded as irrelevant?

1a) It does appear the system works on the basis that women are the only
parents capable of rearing children in the traditional family.

b) The government claims grandparents are important to children but refuse
to recognise them as relevant people in their lives.

2 a) Social services rarely include grandparents or extended family because
the law does not recognise them.

b) Fathers rights are also seldom recognised by social services.

3, Woman’s Aid focuses on protecting woman. The very name tells us that the
real best interests of children are secondary to their cause when they are
tutoring women how to avoid contact with the paternal side of a child’s family
even if grandparents or fathers have done no wrong. This encourages flouting
of contact orders because they get a slap on the wrist and told not to do it
again with it. (Non-compliance is a major issue)

Millions could be saved to families and the public purse if these organisations
focussed on what is best for children. It would cut down on legal aid and social
service and welfare costs.

Grandparent¿s Apart
22 Alness crescent
Glasgow G52 1PJ
0141 882 5658

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