A big unanimous “yes” vote plus a standing ovation for Grandparents Apart UK by Glasgow City Councilors on 18th February 2010 to accept ‘The Charter for Grandchildren’ for mandatory use by professionals that work in the welfare of children. By this historic vote brave Glasgow Councilors have opened up a whole new aspect of child care and protection plus huge savings on the public purse.
The Charter for Grandchildren was created by the Scottish Executive in 2005 to accompany the Family Law Act (Scotland) 2006 as an advisory document but because it was just advisory Social Services and professionals dealing in the welfare of children were reluctant to change their policies to comply with it.
The Policy Development Committee (PDC) in Glasgow City Chambers will now decide to accept parts or all of the Charter. The Charter was produced by the legal team of a Scottish Government on evidence produced by a stakeholders group of which Grandparents Apart UK were a part of.
The Charter for Grandchildren
It is important that parents, grandparents and other family members, speak to, and treat each other, with respect. You may not get on, but you can still be civil, for the sake of the children. Try to avoid arguing with or criticising family members in front of the children. It can be very upsetting for them.
On occasions professional organizations such as social work departments or the courts can become involved and may have to make decisions that will have a lasting impact throughout a child’s entire life. In these circumstances it is vital that the loving and supportive role that the wider family, in particular grandparents can play is respected and protected for the child…
FAMILIES ARE IMPORTANT TO CHILDREN
Grandchildren can expect:
- To be involved with and helped to understand decisions made about their lives.
- To be treated fairly
- To know and maintain contact with their family (except in very exceptional circumstances) and other people who are important to them.
- To know that their grandparents still love them, even if they are not able to see them at the present time.
- To know their family history.
- The adults in their lives to put their needs first and to protect them from disputes between adults - not to use them as weapons in quarrels between adults.
- Social workers , when making assessments about their lives, to take into account the loving and supporting role grandparents can play in their lives.
- The Courts, when making decisions about their lives, to take into account the loving and supporting role grandparents can play in their lives.
- Lawyers and other advisers to encourage relationship counseling or mediation when adults seek advice on matters affecting them and their children.
Along with others, Grandparents Apart put a lot of hard work into “The Charter for Grandchildren” demanding to be heard about the gaps in the family law concerning their grandchildren. Why? Because we really do have the best interests of our grandchildren at heart, if it was not for love of them why would we bother?
We are happy to promote the Charter for Grandchildren and the Parenting Agreement because they are useful documents.