Help stop child exploitation for monetary gain(1 Post)
I wanted to share this petition with you as it am currently going through this myself.
My vulnerable daughter (17) chose to leave home and despite repeatedly asking her to come back, she has refused. I can't say that our relationship was great, as with most adolescents things could be rocky.
My daughter has chosen to stay with 'friends'. This person has now sought child maintenance from myself and my ex husband. This person has also claimed the child benefit and child tax credits. This person is set to make in the region of £700+ per month for my daughter staying there.
My hands are tied. Legally I have to pay, which I would have no objection to if the person had been vetted and deemed suitable. I have sought legal advice on this matter.
I have spoken at length with my local MP and Councillors - all who are in support of this. Jonathan Reynolds MP has already asked the question in Parliament.
Firstly, the current law states that 16+ adolescents can leave home without the consent of the parents. Secondly, it states that child must remain in education or approved training scheme until they are 18. Thirdly it states a parent is financially responsible for the child until they are 20 or leave further education, whichever comes first. Finally, a parent has parental responsibility until the child turns 18.
This means there is a massive loophole in the law for unscrupulous people to manipulate the system for monetary gain. Adolescents can be groomed and exploited to leave their family home, they are unable to sign a lease as you need to be at least 18, which leaves no alternative but to stay with 'friends/others'. The loophole then allows them to claim child benefit, child tax credits and child maintenance from both parents without being vetted!! Even voluntary leaders for Scouts, football and other activities are vetted. How can this be right? This also allows the adolescent to be easily manipulated for sexual exploitation too.
As a parent with the responsibility for my child's welfare until she is 18, I have no right to have a say in where she stays. If something were to happen to her, it would fall with me and not where she is staying. Again, how can this be right?
Please help us to ask Parliament to review the shortfalls in the law. If you have a question please feel free to ask.
There is also a page on Facebook with more information
Thank you for taking time to read this long post!
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