grandparent new laws(132 Posts)
Really worried. I have deliberately cut myself away from family to get my life together as they were dragging us down with their disgusting attitude. and I have managed after years of pain to get our lives on track. Now I hear that this stupid government wants to give grandparents automatic rights to see their grandchildren, this is not a good thing for everyone infact for some of us it will cause real issues. What action can i take. and please no "well may be things have changed" answers i am not in the ball park for platitudes, this is serious.
I'm not sure what to do either, but I'm in a similar situation in that me and my DC don't have any contact with my mum, who hasn't seen my eldest in about two years.
I think it's too simplistic to say that grandparents rights should outweigh parental rights, and there are usually good reasons as to why the relationship has broken down.
I don't think it's up to the state to interfere in this relationship, and it says a lot about the type of person the grandparent is when they are prepared to take the parents of their grandchildren to court. How is forcing the parents to give access to someone they don't want their children to see going to help rebuild any relationships? It wont. It'll burn bridges and stoke up any hostilities that are ongoing.
I feel sorry for some grandparents, but I know from experience that it's not just a black and white issue.
""How is forcing the parents to give access to someone they don't want their children to see going to help rebuild any relationships? It wont. It'll burn bridges and stoke up any hostilities that are ongoing.""
I feel like this about XDP and Xinlaws.
There is NO way that I would let them see my DD, and inflict their evil on her. NO WAY!!!
I have mixed feelings about this, in a way its good as if I died it would ensure that if dd went to live with exh my mum would still have contact and be able to intervene with her when he didnt look after her but on the other hand it does give his mother who is rather poisoness rights of acces to dd.
It's not actually happening, as far as I know, it was an idea that was floated.
Oh, just seen apparently it's in a green paper. Which means it's an idea that won't happen at least immediately, given green papers aren't commitments and even it if was a White Paper, there's a general election coming up...
Parents should be able to say who has contact with their kids. My ILs ae toxic but luckily have calmed down after a decade or so as they had to to see their GC, it was in all our interests to be civil. Had they had 'rights' they may have carried on being twunts possibly and that would have been bad for the kids surely.
Parents should be able to say who has contact with their kids. My ILs ae toxic but luckily have calmed down after a decade or so as they had to to see their GC, it was in all our interests to be civil. Had they had 'rights' they may have carried on being twunts possibly and that would have been bad for the kids surely.
it's ridiculous, first of all grandparents are denied care in favour of foster parents -- then it turns too far in the opposite direction -- to this! very silly indeed
"It says a lot about the type of person the grandparent is when they are prepared to take the parents of their grandchildren to court"
Exactly! If applied this would only happen in the worst possible situations where it would cause the worst problems and bad feeling.
Grandparents do need a certain amount of rights to see their grandchildren to be able to go up against the ss if, say, both parents were to die and the ss decided in their infinite wisdom that granny was not a suitable candidate to raise the child, although of course according to the courts the ss are always right, so how much good it will do is yet to be seen.
There are also always incidents when a break up causes one parent or another to stop good grandparents seeing their children because they are pee'd off with the other side, just like father re mother in family law.
Having said that there must be protection for the child if granny or grandad is not a decent person, will allow contact to a parent the court has said no contact too etc.
I haven't read the green paper but there must not be a presumption of contact from the get-go and all related matters must be taken into account including any absent parents conduct and supervised visits should be inclusive.
Doe someone have a link to the green paper to save me the time of finding it thanks.
It's not just this government who are saying they will introduce GP rights. It's also the conservative party.
This really is an undermining of parental authority isn't it? Who else should have rights? Aunts? Uncles? In laws? Neighbours? FFS where does it end?
Oh Jesus Christ if this goes through I am doomed :-(
This is something I've been concerned about as well. In my case it's my parents I don't want to have contact with my child. It worries me as it's not really something you can prove as such
Hopefully if it's as Edam says any change may not happen and if it does it will take years.
Interesting to see that others are in the same boat.
If it passes I'll move a long way away- abroad hopefully.
Don't go to Italy - apparently they already have grandparent rights over there
"If it passes I'll move a long way away- abroad hopefully. "
Just remember to do it before you get any paperwork from the court, after and they can bring you back, put you in prison for up to two years for contempt of court and award custody to whomever they like.
"It says a lot about the type of person the grandparent is when they are prepared to take the parents of their grandchildren to court"
It may be that one or both parents are failing to care for the child, and the grandparent is trying to intervene.
I think it's because they are changing how they can apply for access. Currently, grandparents have to apply for the right to apply for access. I think they are taking out the first application bit.
My "we're not racist/sexist/elitist but...." in laws have two hopes of exercising access to their grandchildren other that how it currently stands. Very limited access completely on my own terms and put a foot out of line and I will verbally have you for breakfast. I feel sorry for decent grandparents caught in a political situation, however, I have no faith in the law being able to discriminate between the two situation and would have to take every opportunity to try to block it as a law.
OldLady there are such situations, but to deal with them by giving ALL GP's rights in ALL circs, is overkill.
Old Lady thats as may be but people like me with lunatic/control freak in laws who really could/can do alot of damage, it 'll be a nightmare.
They can come and visit me if they wish - abroad but I'll certainly not stay here, not in a million years.
The thing is in situations like oldlady describes then we already have procedures to deal with that through childrens social services. These laws as far as I can see are only to provide access to grandparents not to take the child away.
If a child's parents are seperated then there are procedures in place for the absent parent to fight for access - if they need amending then that is a seperate issue.
AFAIK this idea was put forward to allow gps, when their child hasn't got access to the grandhildren to then fight for access/visitation rights themselves.
But surely this is a family problem not a legal one? If the absent parent has access then they can allow their parents to see the child if they choose, if they haven't got access then there is legal recourse to fight for it, and if they are not interested then, it should be a family matter for the grandparents to either contact the parent who has the children to see if they can arrange something or if not put pressure on their child and support them to gain access.
Where a child has been removed from the parents then maybe it is in the child's best interest not to see the grandparents - or again there are procedures to ask for this type of thing.
The people I can see losing out here are the ones who refuse their own parents access to the children for whatever reason and now feel threatened (like me and others on this thread).
Maybe the procedures in the other instances don't go far enough but that should be then campaigning for a change in those, not these new laws.
The only people who have a right to see a child are the parents - unless they have done something bad enough to lose those rights. I'm sorry that it is hard on grandparents to lose contact with a child, but tough.
"This really is an undermining of parental authority isn't it?"
Megglevache - we've thought of that too, how sad is that?? That the state would hound parents and children out of their home country just for wanting to have their parental choices respected.
The only person to decide who can and cannot see our children is DH and I, it's got fk all to do with the government or the courts unless they suspect we are abusing our children, and in that case it's in everyones interest to resolve any problems.
In my situation, my mum would love to be able to take us to court to force us to bend to her will, she loves power games and would take grat delight in 'winning', she claims to love her GD but would put her through court if she could.
Im not being funny but dd already spends one fortnight (when he turns up) seeing her dad who she doesnt want to see and travels 90 miles round trip to do so, so if they pass this she would then have to spend a seperate weekend being taken to see toxic exmil in another direction as even exh doesnt speak to her, she doesnt drive and says she isnt well enough to travel so my dd would spend every weekend travelling 90 miles by train, and then somewhere in between see my mum and dad and actually spend some time with me
Whats next aunty and uncle rights? everyone but the mother having a say in what is right for the child IMO most mothers do not withhold access without good reason (although I admit some do)
There is no way in hell that I would allow my dc to see xp's parents again. Even xp doesn't see them as they are that awful.
Oh, believe me, I'm fully sympathetic - my own MIL is fine, but a friend had the most dreadful experiences with hers after she split with her DH.
OTOH, I do know of a case close to home, where both parents are unfit, and granny has picked up the pieces - or the baby, at any rate. It was, of course, done through Child Protection procedures, but the mother of the baby repeatedly kicks up stink about wanting the child back (well, straighten your life out) and if/when this happens, I can see granny having to fight for access.
I would also like to know if these proposed rights apply to GP's where BOTH parents who live together have agreed that those GP's should not have access to their children, or just to GP's where the parents are separated?
As far as I can tell, from reading news reports, it's only in the case of the parents' relationship breaking down. It also implies that, in that case, there would already have to be a pattern of contact which the GPs wanted to continue - I don't think they could just turn up if they had been estranged for some time and demand visiting rights.
I think if there was regular access & a couple split & access is then denied then OK, the GPs should be able to do something.
Other than that...
May I just put the other side of the arguement.
I am a Grandmother, who has had custody of her DGD at times through her almost 15 years.
I have always finacially supported her, as in buying her school uniform, shoes, coats, and most of her home clothes, even when she was/is living with her Mother.
She is my DS's DD, who has always paid maintenance, even when at collage. (parents were young teenagers at her birth)
At times, when she is back living with her mother, and her ex partner (Thank God he is now Ex, for Mother daughter and two siblings sake very violent layabout) we have been stopped seeing her.
We have gone months without seeing her.
There was nothing we could do about it.
Seeing her was on the whim of her mother, (although I do feel under duress from the Ex, but still we were stopped)
Not all Grandparents want to see the child just to spite the Parent, not all Grandparents go to court just to be difficult.
Some, and I would say most, go to court because they love and miss their Grandchildren.
What do you mean didd, why dosnt my son bring her to see me?
Because he didnt see her for even longer, she refused to let him, would be out when he turned up to get her, wouldnt answer the door, and told me if she saw him at my house, then she would stop her coming to my house, (he did turn up to see her in the end, mother found out and stopped her coming to me)in the end he had to spend thousands of pounds involve social services to see her.
We do all see her now, and I do have a reasonable relationship with mt ex DIL now, (am taking DGD's younger siblings, by her Ex to the cinema tonight actually) now that her exP is out of the picture.
In fact DS is an electrician, and when ExDIL lost all her electric heating recently, he went and fixed it.
I am torn on this one, partly from experience. Of course, if the grandparents are actually abusive or might harm the child, then it's pretty clearcut.
But if it's not the case, if it's simply the case of a DIL and a MIL not getting on, then I think one might have to accept that the interests of the parents are not necessarily the interests of the grandchildren.
My Mum and her MIL never got on. Didn't go as far as refusing to see her, but my Mum was always trying to enlist me on her side, and make me see how badly she was being treated. I resent it to this day! Yes, I can see that from her pov her MIL was a royal pain in the arse and that they could never get on together. But she wasn't my MIL, she was my grandmother, I still wanted the right to establish our relationship without being told what I ought to think about her. I was not my mother's counsellor, I was not interested in hurtful things that had been said before I was even born.
Dh also had a very good relationship with his gran, despite the fact that she never liked his dad, her SIL, and had been pretty horrible to him (refused to attend the wedding because she disapproved of him). Must have been very hard on his dad, but dh still has all those happy memories from his childhood, he wouldn't have wanted to be without them.
I have a distant relative whose dd has decided to cut herself off from her: she never gave any reason or told the old lady what she had done, but she hasn't seen her eldest grandchild since he was a baby, and wasn't even informed that the second one had been born. I feel sorry for her, but also vaguely concerned for the grandchildren who will either have been brought up on a lie (grandma dead/doesn't want to see you) or had her presented to them as an ogre without having been given a chance to make their own minds up. These are the only grandchildren she will ever have and she feels the loss very deeply.
I can see both sides of the argument, but the thing that gets me is how is this ANY of the governments business? State intruding too much in private life, IMO. I'm no Daily Wail reader, but this really smacks of a nanny state.
Oh Shoshe, I´m glad things are better.
I don´t get on particularly with my Ils & I suppose if husband & I split I would feel it was up to him to make sure his parents saw the children when he had them IYSWIM.
I can certainly repect all perspectives here and i think that that it's clear that everyone is focussed on the best interests of children, whatever they might be, contact or no contact.
However, having read Atlantis's comments to Nananina I think it's only right to say that I am going to report them. They are vile and drag down this thread.
Oh I am late in returning to this thread. It looks like the bile has been removed. I am very pleased to
Der, I am dim. Wrong thread, please ignore me.
"However, having read Atlantis's comments to Nananina I think it's only right to say that I am going to report them. They are vile and drag down this thread.
Oh I am late in returning to this thread. It looks like the bile has been removed. I am very pleased to
Der, I am dim. Wrong thread, please ignore me. "
Geez wahwah if NN is getting you to complain on her behalf for goodness sake get the right thread, quite obvious from your first post you hadn't read it! DOH. (the state of social services! hope you don't handle your case files that way.. lets take this kid for the fun of it.. or was it that one?..)
ffs will you stop with the personal digs?
Oh dear, dear, dear.
I cannot be doing with this, mil is the type I think
I may have to come with you megs
Is scotland safe do you think? Or a boat in the pacific ocean?
What happens if your mil really hates you, thinks you are cruel and heartless for erm, for her child having left you
and tells you what is what and when she will visit regardless of what you think or feel or what is convenient
I suppose the burden of all that fall squarely on an already stressed to the hilt and unsupported lone parent, doesn't it. F*cking fantastic.
Ok, which party is likely to put this through SLOWEST?
Surely if the child is in danger the grandparent will automatically be considered by most ss as being best person to step in? If there is already access that is.
thankfully we have had none so far, they went off in a strop. Does that help?
Actually main question is how is it likely to impact on whether the 'absent' parent gets to see their children
I'm scared she will get some kind of legal thing and drag him along with her,
NO I am never having her in my home. It would have to be elsewhere.
Seriously thinking of moving.
I wonder if there will be any controls over what tone GP's are allowed to take with the children regarding their mother.
As FA says, you can just imagine toxic MIL's filling kids' heads with tales of how awful Mummy is, how nasty she was to Daddy etc. And yeah, lone parents would have to wipe up the shit. As usual.
Rights without responsibilities, that's what these would be.
god this has made my stomach flip over
my mother will have a field day
Surely it will only apply where there was contact & it has been stopped for no reason?
Well that's the thing isn't it. Once you enshrine a right for some sets of GP's, the legal logic is to ask why other sets don't have the same rights.
Just wanted to confirm for those of you getting in the lifeboats- head for somewhere else other than here (Italy) as grandparents already have this right.
(you're OK though I think if you're not married, because as the good Catholics we are(n't) if you're unwed, then your children, legally, have no paternal grandparents, a loophole I take sadistic pleasure in pointing out from time to time to the ILs.)
(and the one and only reason I will never ever no not never marry dp)
Herbeatitude I agree...that's sadly already the way it is for a lot of absent fathers though. All the rights, none of the responsibilities.
The way this is making a lot of us feel is similar to what a lot of single mothers (and probably a few fathers) go through daily.
The feeling of not being able to protect our children from the lunatic who helped conceive them, because as long as he hasn't ever actually tried to kill us/them, he'll get access almost automatically.
It is, actually, horrifying to feel in a position where saying 'No, I won't let you emotionally abuse my child' is not an option.
I think many posters are "jumping the gun" here. The OP says this "stupid government" is giving automatic rights for grandparents to see their granchildren" This is not the case.
Under the terms of the Children Act 1989, it is possible for an application to be made for a Contact Order in respect of a specific child (Section 8 Order). Currently this application is restricted to a parent of a child. Grandparents can only make this application when they have been granted "leave" to do so by the Court. This means that the Judge must review the grounds for the application and make a decision as to whether he/she will allow the grandparent's application to be heard.
The change that is being proposed is that grandparents should be allowed to make their application to the court without the need to seek leave of the court. If this becomes law then the grandparents will be able to make application for a Contact Order. This does not mean that there will be an automatic right to contact. It means that the Judge will commission a report to be made available, which will investiage the cirsumstances of the case, interview all relevant parties and take the child's wishes and feelings into account (if he/she is old enough for this) and make a recommendation as to whether they feel that it would be in the best interests of the child for the grandparent's application to be successful. It will then be for the Judge to make the final decision.
There are a lot of comments about the parents being the only ones who have the right to say with whom their children should have contact. There is a presumption in law (that I believe is correct) that children have a right of contact with their extended family as well as their parents, so long as this is in their best interests. I know of a case where a gradmother who cared for her grandson for the first 4 years of his life (on a daily basis)is now being refused contact with him. After her son and dil split up, the little boy remained with his mum and the g/mother was still caring for the child. However 1 year after the split the father formed a new relationship and once the mother found out about this, she refused to allow the grandmother any further contact and she has not seen her grandson (who she cared for daily for the first 5 years of his life) for the past 15 months. How can this be fair?
There are cases where one or other parent will refuse contact between children and grandparent following a separation/divorce/fallout, just out of spite, or to punish the parents of the ex partner. Conversely there will be grandparents who are unfit to have contact with the children and if this is the case, then that will be found out during the investigation and the Judge can make the right decision.
Even if this proposal becomes law I don't think it will mean a great deal of difference because I don't think there will be many grandparents who will be prepared to take this matter to court, or who will able to afford the legal fees to be represented (not sure if legal aid will be available) but for many grandparents (who by definition will mostly be in their 50s and 60s) it is very intimidating to have to go to court.
Anyway can you all now calm down and see this proposal for what it is - not what it isn't.
Oh and Atlantis - I would have thought you could have put everyone right on this, given your extensive knowledge of these matters, and the hopelessness of all other professionals!
"...there will be grandparents who are unfit to have contact with the children and if this is the case, then that will be found out during the investigation"
Ha ha ha at your touching faith in the investigation Nina. You mean like all those men who aren't fit to have contact with their children who are nevertheless given sole contact, which they use to emotionally (or otherwise) abuse their children?
wrong wrong wrong
if the adult child has cut ties with the grandparent then that is 1. their right 2. for a reason
I would go to prison myself rather than let my young children see either set of grandparents
my older dcs would choose not to anyway
i wonder what the courts would make of absent parents - then making an application to see their grandchildren - surely no case there?
"Oh and Atlantis - I would have thought you could have put everyone right on this, given your extensive knowledge of these matters, and the hopelessness of all other professionals! "
As I said in my post I haven't read the green paper so I have no clue as to what laws they are proposing to change dear, but you keep following me around attacking me it's your time your wasting not mine.
Hell will freeze over before i let either of my parents near my kids, law or no law.
"Hell will freeze over before i let either of my parents near my kids, law or no law. "
Trouble is it doesn't work like that when they have a court order if you don't comply that's contempt of court, you go to prison (which isn't so bad who wouldn't do time for their childrens wellbeing?) but the court awards custody to someone else or the kids go into care, so the court still gets what it wants but the kids lose everything, especially you.
If you run they find you and bring you back and the above applies.
Best to 'didn't get the first court letter' and be gone.
would a previous section under the mental health act deem a grandparent unfit?(for access to kids) or a history of domestic violence ? or a history of neglecting their own children?
But you can't put your faith in a system that doesn't work, the system needs changing, completely reforming from all sides and thats what we need to work towards.
In the child's best interests should mean exactly that.
"would a previous section under the mental health act deem a grandparent unfit?(for access to kids) or a history of domestic violence ? or a history of neglecting their own children? "
Yes, but as I said above the system doesn't work, so there are no guarantees.
Put it this way when section 1 offenders get unsupervised visits to their kids because the contact centre deems them a risk to other children then people need to worry.
The problem is, a child's best interests is a matter of opinion, and fashion.
It has been the fashion for a while, that contact with both parents is essential, even where contact with one of them is obviously damaging the child. That is changing gradually, but it needs to change much more. Emotional abuse in particular needs to be acknowledged as a "real" issue, especially if mad old granny gets rights.
"Emotional abuse in particular needs to be acknowledged as a "real" issue,"
Yes. As we all know in public law emotional abuse is a big thing, your child can be taken into care if they are deemed suffering emotional abuse and yet with private law it doesn't apply so well and you have to argue it till your horse and the judge still wavers.
Of course the fact that physical abuse is much easier to prove has nothing to do with it of course
actually my parents do not know my married name or all of my kids names (just my 3 from first marriage), that could work in my favour ?
"for a 'seek and find' order under section 33 of the Family Law Act 1986. ..."
No, if the court can't 'find' you they can order a section 33 under the family law act where they can search records for you, dss, doctors etc.
opps that didn't work, I was trying a link.
well thats us with good reason to keep our kids away from the nutjobs their grandparents screwed then.
why cant you legaly divorce your parents ?
would make things so much simpler.
If i could get rid of mine legaly i would ... (dont wish them harm , just dont want to be tied to them at all).
Children can be adopted, why cant adults legaly opt out of having crap parents? thus removing any possible grandparental rights too.
can i get a green paper on that?
drloves8 i think we are sisters and
luckily a criminal conviction means 'grandad' has no chance here
Ah well I tried - but I can see that there are some of you who are still intent on thinking that grandparents are going to be given automatic rights to contact with their grandchildren. I am left wondering why some of you prefer to believe this and get all worked up about it, when that is not the proposal. Maybe I'll never know.
Atlantis is doing her level best to totally discredit the entire system based on her own experience. She says she's a McK friend and has a lot of experience in this way too, and has never "lost a case" with which she's been involved. I doubt what she says, as it is not within the gift of a McK friend to "win" or "lose" a case. A McK friend is there to offer support to a parent in court. It is for the Judge to decide on whether a Contact Order should be made and on the terms of any such Order.
I would urge that you treat Atlantis's comments with caution. Of course ths system isn't perfect and I have tried to explain some of the problems with CAFCASS but it simply isn' true that the entire system "doesn't work" in the way that she is trying to suggest. Neither is it true that parents necessarily get custodial sentences if they do not comply with Court Orders. If a parent doesn't comply with a court order, the other parent needs to take the matter back before the court and the parent with-holding contact will be told that they must comply, and given the opportunity to do so. It simply isn't the case that parents not complying with a court order are cast into jail and the children taken into care,, or "custody" awarded to someone else (incidentally there is no such thing as custody any more - children's permanent living arrangements are now decided on the basis of Residence Orders or Special Guardianship Orders.
I wonder why some of you who are dead set against g/parents having contact (and I accept that there may be good reason for your views) feel that just because there is a proposal that there may be a very slight change in the law, that this means they are going to be off to court in their droves, applying for contact. Surely if they felt that strongly they would have already done it.
Nananina , a proposal means a slim chance that some grandparents (toxic) may realise that they can apply to court for access , when previously it would never have occured to them.
the thought of a grandparent thinking of my kids is enough to cause stress let alone this
I think its quite sad really ..I know of some gps that would love a relationship with their grandchildren but are denied ....
" I doubt what she says, as it is not within the gift of a McK friend to "win" or "lose" a case. A McK friend is there to offer support to a parent in court. "
Actually your right and wrong a MCK is their to offer support to the parent/s but also if you look under;
Re N (A child) (McKenzie Friend: Rights of Audience)  EWHC 2042 (Fam).
MCK's are also granted the right to speak for the parent/s in court, which is what I do, i'm surprised you have never come across this in your extensive career.
" It is for the Judge to decide on whether a Contact Order should be made and on the terms of any such Order."
Yes it is but how do you think a judge makes his/her decisions? Do they not hear arguement and evidence from both sides? You have been to some very strange courts if this is not the case.
usual . some are denied because the parents want to protect their kids.
I know that...but some are denied for other reasons ..
"(incidentally there is no such thing as custody any more - children's permanent living arrangements are now decided on the basis of Residence Orders or Special Guardianship Orders."
And how many lay persons know what an RO and a SGO is?
usual - i would love grandparents for my kids
abusive ones not a good idea
NanaNina a lot of the worries about this arise because of the publicity of theses proposed new laws. Whereas before people may in many cases have had the assumption that they had no legal right to see their grandchildren, the fact that a legal process that may let them win the right (however slim the chances maybe) to see those grandchildren terrify those who have stopped access for what they believe is very good reason.
Emotional abuse is hard to prove, by its nature. And it is still something that is not recognised by everyone. Add into that the grandparent has not yet caused harm to the grandchild (though the parent believes that there is a big risk of this). Also that the grandparents have never been accused or investigated by any agency of abusing their own children.
The grandchildren may have had previous contact with grandparents, regular contact, that has now been withdrawn.
It comes down to the parents word against the grandparents. With no concrete proof either way. No way to prove the parents allegations.
And that is why people are scared.
I take your points Armadillo - but it can't be fair or just that g/parents "Have the assumption that they have no legal right to see their g/children" - you must surely acknowledge that there will be many g/parents who are prevented from having contact with their g/children without any good reason.
You say it comes down to the parent's word against the grandparents, with no concrete proof either way. I think however this is too simplistic and these cases are subjected to investigations and assessments carried out by social workers, who will be able to assess the validity of the view of both parents and g/parents. I know there are a lot of posters casting doubt (and in some cases insulting) the competence of social workers to carry out this work, but in my experience most sws are competent and work extremely hard in these matters to properly assess the situation.
If I am involved in disputed contact (between parents) I will always want to see the child in the company of both parents (seperately) of course. I observe very carefully the interaction between the child and each parent and this pays dividends. Parents can try to "put on an act" for the sw but children don't do this. It is clear to see if a child is uncomfortable, wary, anxious etc in the company of a parent. This is particularly important where the mother is saying the father is unfit to have contact. Children do NOT act - they show it how it is and I am very influenced by the way the child is in the company of the father in such cases.
An experienced sw with high quality assessment skills will be able to determine the validity and authenticity of differing points of view. There are all kinds of "tools" for good assessments which should lead to the sw making a recommendation that can be tested in court and on which the judge can make a decision. I know that no system is foolproof but to totally disregard the assessment skills of sws in these cases is unfair and I think could cause more anxiety to parents than is necessary.
OK I will now get some posters telling me that sws are rubbish and incompetent but what's new.
yes Atlantis of course I am aware that the Judge hears evidence from all parties in court matters and makes a decision based on all the facts of the case. However for you to declare that you have won every case with which you have been involved suggests that the Judge has made his/her decision based on your evidence. I think this is grandiose thinking on your part and that you may have an over inflated sense of your own importance, which comes across on these threads too. Incidentally if the person you are a McK friend for gets what she/he wants in court, how do you arrive at the conclusion that this was related to your involvement?
As for how many lay people would know what a Residence Order or Special Guardianship Order is, may I ask you how many lay people would know what a LIP is ...........very few I suspect but it doesn't prevent you from using the term in almost everyone of your posts on these threads.
I appreciate that it may look as though I am involved in a "point scoring" exercise with you, but I think that your determination to discredit the entire court system and all professionals involved and engage in scaremongering is unfair and I feel that i should try to point this out to other posters.
My mum's best friend looked after her son's two children from the time they were born until they were 6 and 4 - she had them all week (nights as well - they only went to parents at weekends), and all holidays - their parents went on holidays without the children.
Then her son split up from his girlfriend, he emigrated, she married someone else, and my mum's friend hasn't seen them since. 10 years of not seeing the children she had more-or-less brought up.
Should she have some rights?
On the face of what you´ve written of course, maryz
How did it occur that she looked after them so much?
Thank GOD I fled the country (have emmigrated) so my psycho mother can never get her grubby hands on my kids. A law like this has been my worst nightmare.
My mother is a health professional and is very persuasive figure in the public sphere. She is articulate and convincing.
My mental health problems have cleared up since cutting my mother out of my life. I just thank GOD again that I am not in the UK if this law comes in because WITHOUT A DOUBT she would use it to gain access to my kids for a power trip.
Just to add, 4 years ago when DD was born my mother sent me lots of threatening letters about how she was taking me to court to get access to her granddaugter. She'd have loved that. She'd have rather taken me to court to force me to give my daughter to her than have a chat with me about the problems in our relationship...
As I say, I've emigrated so she can't.
I would like to know exactly what "symptoms" children are supposed to display which prove that they are being abused (emotionally or otherwise) by someone.
Children don't know that abuse is anything other than normal, so they're not ncessarily going to display fear, upset etc. when in the company of an abuser, especially one who limits his/ her abuse to the emotional variety. How exactly does a highly trained highly competent SW spot that then?
And actually the idea that there is "no good reason" for some gp's not to see their GC's is wrong. There is a good reason. The parent has said they would rather they didn't. Unless there is evidence that that parent is incompetent or malicious, it should be assumed that they are perfectly capable of deciding who is a good influence on their children or not.
"However for you to declare that you have won every case with which you have been involved suggests that the Judge has made his/her decision based on your evidence. I think this is grandiose thinking on your part and that you may have an over inflated sense of your own importance, which comes across on these threads too."
How unlike a sw to take something out of context and run with it. . And as for the over inflated sence of own importance,-pot=kettle black.
" I will always want to see the child in the company of both parents (seperately) of course."
And if the status quo is the child hasn't seen the abusive parent in x amount of time your one of these sw's that push for the child to face emotional abuse by shoving it into a room with the abusive parent are you. Nice to know.
And no, children do not show a set of abuse signals that can be picked up otherwise all those abused children who have contact with ss would be safe wouldn't they?
And what if they child has not had contact with their abusive parent for a long time, they would be no more uncomfortable than with a stranger.
And many children who are abused are more willing to please their abuser so as to not upset them, or have you not read psych 101?
Are you a trained child and adolescent psychiatrist by any chance? because only someone trained to that standard in child behaviour can say for certain ( and then with a margin for error depending on the abuse suffered) if a child has been abused.
Or should we just do away with child psychiatrists and psychotherapists because sw's are more competent?
sakura ditto my father - high standing in community
i got the threatening letters - solicitors 'my grandchild' after my son was born 6 years ago
i was and also wth???
years passed and mental health problems sought me to take action - legally
needless to day there is no way that grandparent is getting near my dc
the law is not always an ass
Atlantis - your response to my Q about how do you know it is your intervention that means that the parent gets what/she wants in court, does not answer the question.
I do not "push a child into a room to face emotional abuse" though I can see that it will please you to think the worst of me. If a child was reluctant to meet with the absent parent I would find out why and this may well provide good evidence of a child's fear etc. This has never happened, conversely I have had quite excited children bouncing up and down in my car as they were going to see daddy and were happy.
And no I am not talking about a "set of abuse signals" in a child - there is no such thing as you say. I am thinking of something far more ordinary, like the child's body language, if she sits on daddy's lap, is she relaxed, or tense. Is she "watching" daddy for signs from him (this is quite telling as this can indicate a child is anxious) is she relaxed in playing with him, is she trying to please him, is she spontaneous in her interactions or is she wary of things etc etc etc. Obviously I observe the parent too but my main observation is that of the child. If I am concerned (or a bit unsure) I gain permission for a colleague who is a very experienced play therapist to join the observation and we can produce a joint report.
Oh and if a child had not seen a parent for a long time I think I might just be able to realise that that would make a big difference and I would need to take that into account in my observation/assessment.
I do not agree that it is only child & adolescent psychiatrists who can detect child abuse. However I am not talking about trying to detect child abuse, I am trying to ascertain whether contact would be in the child's best interests or not. The cases with which I have been involved have not been related to child abuse but to one parent or another feeling that contact was not a good thing for whatever reason. In some of the cases the mother did not want the father seeing the children as she was afraid he was going to introduce them to his new partner. In another case the father thought the mother had mental health problems and was attempting to get a Residence Order. She didn't actually - the father was being manipulative and I was able to say so in my comprehensive assesssment and his application was turned down. In another case the mother was afriad the father would take the children out of the country and so was refusing contact.
But what the hell Atlantis why don't I just give you a nice lump of sugar and say I'm really a nasty piece of work, an incompetent know all social worker who hasn't a clue about real life and should just crawl under a stone.
Oh God. Nana are you aware that children who have been abused, emotionally or physically, still look forward to seeing the parent who has abused them and are excited and happy and bouncing up and down in anticipation? Please tell me you know that.
Oh god no HerB - you are so wise - I think you should immediately enrol on social worker degree course as you have all the asnwers where child protecion is concerned.
I accept that when children are living under the same roof as an abusing parent, they have to do what all children do (though not at a conscious level) and try to keep themselves safe. This can be seen inthe "frozen awareness" of very young babies but I won't enlarge as I'm sure you know all about this HerB.with all your superior knowledge on child behaviour.
Very often children living with an abusing parent will try to please him and act as though they are fond of him (and I have heard many a mother who is living in a situation of DV say that her children "love" their father) which of course is not true but it can look as though they do. However once the abuser and the children are separated, children will always show some sort of adverse reaction to being in their company. This will vary dependent on the nature and extent of the abuse and the disposition of the child of course, but a skilled practitioner will be able to observe these reactions. What they categorically don't do is what you say - show enormous pleasure and excitement at the prospect of seeing the abuser.
BUT why am I bothering because you have all the answers - how many children have you transported to absent parents (abusing type or not) and how many observations have you made of parent/child interaction and how many assessment reports have you written and been extensively cross examined on in court and what are your qualifications/experience on which you base your assertions.
"BUT why am I bothering because you have all the answers - how many children have you transported to absent parents (abusing type or not) and how many observations have you made of parent/child interaction and how many assessment reports have you written and been extensively cross examined on in court and what are your qualifications/experience on which you base your assertions."
Now I'm not (accussing) saying this to you in particular but...
How do you know when your doing it right?
As someone previously pointed out (this or another thread) fad and fashion are a by product of social work, if you took the course someone enrolled on in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and this year and a lot in between you will see how social work has evolved into the beast it is today, what was percieved as right in the 70/90/00 is now percieved as 'how did we think that', there are constant courses to enlighten on the new ways and thinking but (again not to you) you can't teach an old dog new tricks (I know i'm an old dog and my degree in physics has changed so much since I took it that I still look at string theory and think ????? 'Really?, but, huh?'
Atlantis - I don't see social work practice in quite the polarised way that you do. For me it isn't about an individual's practice being "right" or "wrong" - it is more a matter of keeping abreast of developments in social policy, in legislation and in sw practice in general. I have always seen this as an absolute duty on my part as an independent social worker and indeed in order to re-register with the GCSC it is necessary to provide proof of your post qualifying development. I have also ensured that I gained the advanced award in social work for which I had to pay myself.
Having said all that I don't believe that qualifications necessarily make a good social worker. All the academic success in the world is no good without the skills and personal qaulities for good quality social work. As far as I am concerned it is to do with the ability to "get alongside" people, to properly listen to their concerns and to be warm and non judgemental in our dealings with service users.
Look Atlantis you and I are never going to agree - you say that "social work has evolved into the beast it is today" and tbh it does frustrate me that you consider it OK to discredit an entire profession, which seems to me to both unfair and unreasonable. I do accept that there may well be some social workers who might not possess the skills and qualities needed but this is true of all professions - it is part of the human condition.
The comments you make about people who trained many years ago is not only relevant to social workers - it is relevant to all professionals and non professionals for that matter. When seeing a GP I sometimes wonder whether I would prefer an older one with more experience who will be many years out of training or a newer one who may be more conversant with new thinking. For me I usually opt for the experience but that is a matter of personal taste.
I am not trying to put myself forward as always getting it right and I appreciate I may come across like this but that's something to do with internet posting. I just cannot accept your view, that the entire social work system is staffed by incompetent idiots (or somesuch). I think to "write off" an entire profession (of whichever kind) detracts from anything that could be considered reasonable especially when it includes snide comments and insults, and I'm afraid prompts me into trying to defend the many many hard working social workers who struggle to do their best on a daily basis for troubled children and families.
Is there any possibility of us finding some middle ground.......
No I suspect there isn't Nananina, because your idea of the middle ground is not the same as anybody else's.
You keep setting up this Aunt Sally of Atlantis and others characterising all SWs as being incompetent idiots. I don't think anyone has consistently argued that POV on any of these threads, but you insist on pretending they have because obviously anyone who thought that would be an idiot.
And then there's the inordinate length of your posts - if you can't win the argument, just make it so long so that people inwardly groan and can't be bothered to trawl through it.
And you are simply wrong to say children don't love their abusers. That's just fashionable nonsense. Some abused children do, some don't.
My question about middle ground was not addressed to you HerB - and maybe Atlantis will share your point of view. If you find my posts too long why not just ignore them - and I quite understand people not wanting to trawl through them as you say. I often ignore posts or skim through and don't bother with the content. That to me is one of the brilliant things about internet posting - it isn't like having a conversation - you can dip in and dip out at will. I suggest you ignore my posts in future and I willtry to do likewise with yours..........
i think where a grandparent has acted as a parent for a period of time, they already have the right to apply for formal adoption...
though i'm sure there are plenty of us who look after kids other than our own for long periods of time who it wouldn't be right to extend rights of visitation to (childminders? nannies?...nursery workers?)
and i am also a bit agog at the thought of rights being given to people, who ultimately don't necesssarily have to take any responsibility - i mean imagine if children go to gramps every wkend - just for the day - then parents split up, no longer see gramps and father is one of that tiny minority refused access - would he mother face a second challenge from the gramps? how could it be guaranteed the gramps wouldn't let daddy have access to them?
i say this as someone whose MIl is mental enough to call my children 'my baby' and openly criticise my parenting when i am there, so there is no way in hell i would allow unsupervised access. Supervised - i do, and put effort into doing so - i think if this meant her gaiing some kndof right though maybe i'd visit less often!
i also agree that if a parent still has access, and their family want to see the child then it is up to them to arrange it. The possibility for cost and inconvenience to be piled on single parents is widened even further otherwise....
sat on my hands but....
sorry nananina but as a victim of abuse myself you do talk some absolute crap
Notanotter - being a victim of abuse yourself does not mean you are right about all child protection matters. And I thought it was against MN etiquette to make personal attacks on posters - not that it matters to me.
no but the word always in your posting suggests ALWAYS
that is a statement of fact Nina and it is WRONG
but being a SW makes you always right about CP matters....
I note you don't address my points about your Aunt Sally arguments, which are tiresome and deliberately obfuscatory and the fact that many children do love their abusers. And of course they are happy and excited to see them. Each time their abusive parent is nice to them, they feel hope that this is what it will be like from now on. Jesus, even when they're adults, many children of abusive parents keep hoping their abusive parent will love them and stop being abusive to them. Children don't give up hope quicker than adults do.
Someone brought this up a while back and I remember posting I was worried about this happening as if anything happened to xh then his mother would do just that go to court to get access to ds but since xh has died she hasnt we have managed to sort it out, but even now without this law in place grandparents have a vested interest so if I did stop her seeing ds she could take me back to court for access, all I can do is hope we stay on good terms for that never to happen.
"Is there any possibility of us finding some middle ground....... "
"You keep setting up this Aunt Sally of Atlantis and others characterising all SWs as being incompetent idiots. I don't think anyone has consistently argued that POV on any of these threads, but you insist on pretending they have because obviously anyone who thought that would be an idiot."
I agree with HB. Middle ground can only be found when you stop going on the attack. I don't attack posters unless they do it first but you seem to follow people around the threads trying to pick us off one by one, your not interested in debating what's wrong with the system just defending all social workers.
No one has said all social workers are useless, all social workers snatch children or all social workers should be sacked. Everyone accepts that there is a genuine need for sw's and the job they do saves and changes children's lives but..
We all know the system is (to put it politely) flawed, Laming has made it impossible for sw's to function under the present system. The government made it a priority to get adoptable children through the system for payment and some (not all) LA's became gung ho (personally I blame the management in those LA's), some sw's do have a god complex, some sw's shouldn't be charged with putting together a 'happy meal' let alone child protection and until their is proper accountability and the system is changed and the rotten sw's are tossed out no one is going to recognise sw for all the good it does.
Only when good sw's stand up and yes, 'rat' out the bad ones, when we have more whistleblowers standing up on mass and saying 'this is wrong' will attitudes change.
OK - no middle ground - I think you do make personal attacks Atlantis - really quite unpleasant ones and a recent one on me was reported to MN. You may not have said in so many words that all social workers are useless but the inference is clear that this is what you think.
You seem to have this notion of "good" and "bad" social workers. I don't see it in those terms - as in all professions, some individuals are going to be more competent than others - do you not recognise this as part of life..........do you not accept there is a variance in teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants etc etc. I think most people would accept this and that we have to work around this the best way we can.
You talk of "good social workers" "ratting" out the "bad" ones - I have met social workers who I have thought might be better doing a different job but the notion of "ratting" them out is just so inappropriate in my view.
Incidentally I don't understand this concept of Aunt Sally that you and HB talk about but I don't think there is any point in any further debate between us.
" really quite unpleasant ones and a recent one on me was reported to MN. "
I called you a Troll and told you to crawl back under your rock, after you attacked me for posting opinions you didn't like.
Definition of Troll = In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community.
I stand by my assertion.
I understand you have also had a run in with MN lately.
"as in all professions, some individuals are going to be more competent than others - do you not recognise this as part of life..........do you not accept there is a variance in teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants etc etc."
Yes, as I had already said in my previous posting this is true and I would hope that collegues in those professions also took action, but were not speaking of those were speaking of sw.
"I think most people would accept this and that we have to work around this the best way we can."
I don't accept it, I think it needs changing, if there's a rotten apple you need to throw it out because it will cause damage to the others around it.
"I have met social workers who I have thought might be better doing a different job but the notion of "ratting" them out is just so inappropriate in my view."
Is it more appropriate for that sw to go on and make a life altering/ defining moment for a child? Does it not matter that a child could be left (as re Baby Peter) to die at the hands of it's carer/ parent because people looked the other way? Or a child was taken and then an adoption order issued against a good parent because someone looked the other way?
Inappropriate would be to pass wind in a lift. Appropriate would be to do your job and try to ensure all children get the very best.
Nananina an Aunt Sally is an argument that no-one has made. It is set up by someone in order to argue against it logically and coherently, but it is unnecessary and irrelevant, because no-one made the argument in the first place. It is often used in public debate in order to make one's opponent look foolish, because by definition, the argument set up will almost invariably be wrong-headed and plainly ridiculous. It is also used as a tactic to get people to argue about the Aunt Sally, rather than about the original issue.
Your contention that so many people on MN are determined to paint the whole of the SW profession as idiots or knaves, fits into the definition of an Aunt Sally, because there is not one person I can ever remember coming across, who holds that view, yet you continually refute it, repetitively and unnecessarily. And it's quite successful, because you can normally get quite a few people to stray off the subject of the original thread and post the bleedin' obvious, which is that of course they don't think all SW's are fools or knaves. Which makes a thread disjointed and incoherent and only the most determined and committed of posters will continue to try and debate the genuine issues raised in the thread.
Oh OK Atlantis and HerB - I give up with both of you - it is all too tedious and I have better things to do with my time that engage in this pointless point scoring exercise.
I haven't had a "run in" with MN - it is true I was e mailed and asked if I could maybe "tone down" my posts in relation to JH as the debate with him was getting a little heated. I did not take exception to this at all - I thought it was a valid comment to make and I followed the advice.
Hi all, if anyone can give me some advice I would very much appreciate some. My parents are currently looking after my children whilst I had to re-locate for work purposes. My son who is 9 wants to come home to me, but my parents who have always favoured my daughter aged 12 have encouraged and manipulated her to remain with them. When I asked why she didn't want to come back home, her reply was well my nanan does everything for me. My father has always been a controlling and abusive man has now threatened to get a residency order to stop me from exercising my parental rights. My daughter is not attending school and hasn't done so for the past eight weeks because she has been bullied so my parents saw fit to permanently remove her without resolving the issues. I am distraught. Everytime I call to speak to my daughter she is abusive and disrespectful towards me, very similar in fact to how my father is with me and my partner. I am at my wits end and have been fighting my parents for the past six weeks to get this resolved without any success.
Amy I suggest you set up a new thread in Legal or relationships so that people don't trawl through this old thread and miss your post.
HerBeatitude many thanks, my first time on here so thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
My kids nan, on my hubby's side, visits once in a blue moon (very rarely), l understand that she has her own life. The problem is she promises to take our kids out and then lets them down and then turns it around on us by saying to the kids 'your mum and dad didn't call me' its the first l have heard about having to phone! why should we need to call anyway, she should just pop over to collect them as arranged. It then turns out that she has made other arrangements that day and thats why she let kids down.
She has gone on holiday for a month to another country, but doesn't take any interest in what the kids have been doing what so ever when she comes home, this leaves me so frustrated! The kids are getting to the age now where they realise they are being ignored and then they get upset and ask me why nanny doesn't listen to them.
We have made it clear how we feel to her, but nothing ever changes, she just takes it for granted that she has rights to see her grandchildren when ever she likes! But surely she should be getting more involved with them, they are not accessories that she can pick up when she wants to... any advice please would be appreciated as l am lost on what to do about this situation, l want to do the best for everyone, mainly our kids.
Sorry if l have ranted to much, it just makes me feel so angry as l feel l can't do anything about this one as she does have rights at the end of the day.
Hi this is to Amy1969
It sounds as if you are in a really difficult situation, what ever you say you seem to be made the bad one. Firstly, your parents can get in trouble for keeping your daughter off school for so long, this situation needs to be resolved in a legal way, l know this from experience.
If this situation doesn't improve after trying to talk to your parents and explaining that this is out of order what they are doing and is hurting both you and your daughter and probably your son as well, if they are not prepared to listen, then maybe you should seek legal advice. If your father has threatened you about a residency order, what else are they capable of doing... l am certain you have rights in this situation. What harm is seeking advice going to do, at least then you will be clear of your rights as a mum.
Could you not arrange a meeting with your daughter where you can be alone, as l feel maybe she can't say what she really wants to as they could be controlling her and she could feel awkward talking in front of them maybe. Be strong your not the one in the wrong here, your parent seem to be acting unfairly and are not considering anyone's feelings.
Dear God, If a court ever ordered that my mother had a right to see my children I'm bloody move to Mars!
She's one evil piece of work
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
a Mck cannot speak for the parent in court but can advice the parent they do not act as a solictor duirng court proceedings, my brother acted as my mck in court.
What a sorry state, reading most of this has made me so sad for your children, how selfish too. If you fell out with your parents, why should the child miss out. No wonder so many children today feel isolated, we all need a family that is well balanced. Children learn from you and if they witness you not bothering with your parents, they too will do the same painful things to you. I believe grand parents should have rights, if your doing things right and your children are happy, what have you got to worry about. Sometimes your feelings should be buried for the children sake
this is possibly what is happening to us
Hi - I know this post is from a few year ago - and I don't want to get in a debate about with Tezzie above - as I don't think you can be that generic.
...does anyone know of any parent support groups? My husband and myself are unaminous in not wanting one set of grandparents to see our children - long story. We are not separated and divorced - in fact we are very happily married - yet everything we read seems to be talking about 'grandparents rights'. We will probably have to go to court this year, as the in laws are threatening this, in order to defend our rights as parents and our decisions (we have very valid reasons which for personal and legal reasons I can't go into). We haven't the money for this but earn over the 8k threshold for legal aid.
We feel increasingly isolated about this - if anyone is in a similar situation please pm or if you know of any support groups let me know
It's such a shame that there is a blanket law. All we keep reading about is Grandparents Alliance and Pro Grandparents groups etc. Surely parents rights should come first? Especially when both the dad and mum are in agreement? xxx
Hi Littlemissexcited5. This is a very old thread so may not get any replies and I don't want you to think that no one cares. If you want to start a new thread then I'm sure that mumsnetters will be able to hold your hand or guide you in the right direction.
I honestly wouldn't worry to much, it's completely unenforceable courts can barely get parental orders to be kept do you really think they will take your children or send you to prision because you ignore a grandparent contact order?
Anyway I don't believe this law was ever passed, there is no legislation in which they can take you to court hence they are talking bull.
It's an old thread, LittleBairn.
Yes it is but with a recent post with a concerned parent relating to that issue hence my post.
I do know of a case where the grandparents were given access to their grandchild against the wishes of the parents, so it's not right to say that this never happens. The poster has now started a thread.
my partner and I had sex, conceived a child, raise that child day in and day out, pay for all that child's needs etc etc.....I am not seeing another persons "right" to see that child if we, the parents and providers, feel its not in their best interest. Inappropriately interfering of the state IMO.
if there's is child abuse or some such - let family apply for guardianship them custody where all sides can be heard.
We as parents have all the responsibilities but the state can jump in and tell some other set of adults "here are your rights" with none of the responsibilities attached .
Join the discussion
Please login first.