Friday, 30 December 2011
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
I am often asked how to begin the process of setting up a support group.
It definitely helps if you have experienced denied contact, but is not absolutely necessary.
There are a few things to think about:
• How to publicize the event?
• How many people?
• Where to hold it?
• Timings, during the day or evening?
• Aims of group?
It doesn’t necessarily happen quickly, I tried for ages to no avail and was getting somewhat despondent. As there are over one million children denied contact with their grandparents in the UK, I knew they were out there some here.
So I gave it one last go, wrote to my local paper,again, I had written several times before, but with the headline, “Tea and Cake for the Grandchildren,” and gave a date time and place and amazingly grandparents appeared out of the woodwork.
Cake did it!
We have been meeting every two months since.
I wrote to all my local mags, which we get posted through my letter box monthly, I wrote my own posters, put them in the library and post offices etc.
I contacted local radio and TV, both have done interviews with us.
I have a Christmas tree every year in my front garden that grandparents come and write messages to their grandchildren, by Christmas eve it is full, usually local media come and do a piece on it.
The group is well known now and grandparents contact me daily, having been given our contact number through C.A.B, family lawyers,help and support databases and via our website. It seems to have gained its own momentum.
There is no membership fee to be part of the group. So if you need funding you need to start writing to organisations who fund local groups, local neighbourhood partnerships, local funding foundations etc. You only need to do this if you are incurring costs of course. My husband and I covered costs for the first few years but then realised that if we wanted to have proper leaflets, posters etc then we couldn’t continue doing that so needed to find funding from somewhere.
I admit that it does take time and effort to do this, you need to have a charity constitution, trustees and treasurer, sounds daunting, but it isn’t, if I can do it anyone can. You only have to be a registered charity if your income is going to be over a certain amount.
My local MP also is a great supporter of the group, so write to your MP.
I write constantly to David Cameron,MP’s, media of all shapes and sizes, to keep the issue of denied contact out there.
I decided to alternate the meetings, so one month its Friday afternoon and then Saturday evening, to try and help grandparents who are working during the day.
I did hire a room at one stage but we found it felt a bit impersonal so we now meet at my house, you never know from one month to another how many will turn up, but we manage to squeeze people in, and no I don’t have a big house, a normal semi-detached. Surprising how many people you can get in, by moving furniture about, a bit!
My husband is here as well, so we get grandads coming too.
The meeting it self runs itself really, everyone has tea/coffee and CAKE, I just welcome anyone new, which there always is, tell everyone what has been going on the last 2 months, press releases,new reports, etc and then its over to everyone else. Once someone starts talking, they are off, and it just happens.
Help, advice and support.
Every meeting I have ever had always finishes with grandparents laughing and joking with on another.
We are all here for one reason and one reason only, our grandchildren.
If you want to talk it through get intouch.
Monday, 26 December 2011
Friday, 23 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Monday, 19 December 2011
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Monday, 12 December 2011
Sunday, 11 December 2011
How a child feels:
"When I was little I had a Mum and a Dad and a brother and we all lived together in the same house. We would go to the park and feed the ducks, have pizza and go to the cinema. We had a house and I had my own room.
We had fun.
We would go and spend time with granny and grandpa and do painting and stuff. They had a secret stash of goodies! Grandpa would sit me on his lap and make up amazing stories.
I noticed that things began to change, not fun anymore.
I would lie in my bed at night and listen to Mum and Dad shouting and saying horrible things. One day Dad told me he was going to live somewhere else as Mum and he were not getting on very well.
I would only see Dad at the weekends, or if Mum wanted to go out.
We had not much food in the cupboards but plenty of beer,I remember being hungry. If I talked about Dad, Mum would get cross with me, my brother didn't have the same Dad as me, he never saw him and I never met him.
Mum told me that Dad didn't love me anymore and didn't want anything to do with me. I cried. What had I done for Dad not to love me, maybe it was my fault that they shouted at each other and threw things across the room, had I been so naughty that he no longer lived with us?
I should try and say sorry and then it would be OK.
I didn't get the chance, I never saw Dad again, I was not allowed to talk about him at all.
It has been years now, and I still don't know what I did.
I wonder why granny and grandpa stopped seeing me, Mum said it was because they had other things to do and didn't want to be bothered with me, that I was a bit of a nuisance to them.
They don't remember my birthday or Christmas, although it was very odd one year on my birthday because I remember the postman bringing a parcel and I answered the door , Mum took it from me and said it was rubbish and threw it away, it was odd because I am sure the postman said it had my name on it.
I wish I could ask someone what I had done, and I could still say sorry.
I miss my Dad so much, I want to know how he is and where he is, and if he is happy.
I would like to see granny and grandpa as well, I would give them a big hug, the biggest hug they have ever had.
One day, maybe, one day."
Parental Alienation is fact, the permanent damage it does is horrendous, children growing up believing that they are not loved by both parents and their extended family.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Friday, 2 December 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Dear Mrs Jackson
Thank you for your email of 22 November requesting clarification about non-resident parents' rights to access information about their child’s progress from their school.
Schools are required by law to ensure that records are kept about each child's progress and achievements. This information is reported to parents, at least annually, through the head teacher's report. The report should include: achievements in all curricular subjects and activities, comments on general progress, examination results, vocational qualifications gained and curricular tests undertaken, assessment information for those children with SEN, attendance, and arrangements for discussing the report with the child’s teacher.
I can confirm that schools must, wherever possible, ensure that they record the contact details of all parents. Education law requires all schools to take reasonable steps to ensure that they report annually to all parents, not just the parent with whom the child lives, on their child’s progress. It also requires them to provide, where requested, access to information recorded on their child’s school records within fifteen days of that request.
Outside of legal obligations, schools usually ensure that all parents known to them have more frequent information about the school and opportunities to contribute to key decisions relating to their child’s education. This includes attending parents’ evenings and discussing any concerns with their teacher. Where separated parents do not agree, however, for example in discussions about how their child’s education takes place, schools must be able to exercise discretion and make judgements based on the circumstances known to them.
Parents should contact the school their child attends and ensure that they record their details as a parent. The school may want proof of identity and relationship with the child. They should then have the opportunity to record how the parent would like to be kept updated on their child's progress.
I hope this information is helpful.
As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey
Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0078521. To contact the Department for Education, please visit www.education.gov.uk/contactus
The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet virus scanning service supplied by Cable&Wireless Worldwide in partnership with MessageLabs. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.) On leaving the GSi this email was certified virus free.
Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Sunday, 27 November 2011
This law was drawn up specifically for stalkers but can apply to so much more (nuisance phonecalls, text messages, ongoing threats between neighbours etc)
The important part, is "course of conduct". This means that there must be at least two seperate instances where harassment was caused and the offender knew (or ought to have known) that their behaviour was causing harassment." if you pursue a course of conduct which causes another person harassment, alarm or distress and knew, or ought to have known, that harassment would be caused" (or words to this effect). There is a defence available of "reasonable conduct" (or else banks wouldn't be able to keep sending you upsetting letters when you owe them money!)
Friday, 25 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Once again we will be having a Christmas Tree in our front garden for grandparents to come and write messages to their grandchildren, let me know if you would like a message written for you.
Monday, 21 November 2011
CALLS TO PARENT HELPLINE ON CHILDREN’S AGGRESSION INCREASE, BUT CHARITY FEARS MANY MORE PARENTS FEEL TOO ASHAMED TO SEEK SUPPORT
Family Lives’ updated aggression report* finds calls to its Parentline regarding aggressive behaviour have increased by 2% and only 56% of respondents to an online survey had sought help for their child’s problem.
As part of its ‘Instructions Not Included’ campaign**, Family Lives reveals that a growing number of parents are seriously concerned about their child's aggression and that many are unsure as to why their children display aggressive behaviour. The updated report, ‘When Family Life Hurts: Family Experience of Aggression in Children’ calls for Government to recognise – in addition to early years support - the particular needs of many parents of older children and teenagers.
The updated report shows that:
Between July 2010 and June 2011, of 39,258 calls made to Parentline, 27% of callers were seeking advice from the charity’s helpline regarding their children’s behaviour with parents frequently reporting feelings of desperation, helplessness and shame.
Key Family Lives Aggression Facts and Figures
Statistics from Parentline, Family Lives’ free helpline for families showed that:
· Calls about a child’s physical aggression have risen by 2% and calls about a child’s verbal aggression have risen by 4%
· 42.9% of calls about behaviour related to children aged 13-15 years
· Parents calling about their child’s aggression were 30.3% more likely to suffer from stress than other callers, and 8.3% more likely to be suffering with anger
· Children are more likely to suffer from identified or unidentified depression if they have behavioural concerns compared to other issues raised in long calls***. They are more likely to self-harm, feel suicidal and suffer from hyperactivity and feelings of isolation
· Compared to June 09 - June 10 statistics, child stress, confusion, isolation and anger have increased by an average of 5.3% where a child is being verbally aggressive and by 5.4% in calls where a child is physically aggressive
· Children who are physically aggressive were significantly more likely to be using drugs -(10.1% compared to 3.2% of all calls) and to be in with a bad crowd - 10.9% compared to 3.4% of all calls.
Jeremy Todd, Chief Executive, Family Lives says: “Family Lives’ updated report highlights that children’s violent and aggressive behaviour in the home is a hidden and stigmatised issue and we must all continue to support families to help change their child’s behaviour and ultimately improve life chances. There are many reasons that can explain why children behave in an aggressive way at home. Answers commonly include an inadequate approach to parenting, a lack of respect, sudden and unpredictable changes to the family routine, parental domestic violence or bullying at school, which causes the anger and hurt to spill out at home. Children or young people often feel that home is a safe place to vent ones feelings. Divorce and separation is considered to play its part in displays of aggressive child behaviour if co-parenting strategies are not discussed, agreed and implemented. Children can end up playing one parent off against another, or the non-resident parent may end up taking a back-seat with regards to discipline as they spend less time with the child. Whatever the reasons, children, parents, families and ultimately society will pay a huge cost if this growing area of concern is not addressed and parents must feel able to come forward to seek support without worrying about being judged.”
Family Lives asked respondents via a recent online web survey why they felt that their child behaved aggressively, what they felt influenced that behaviour and why they felt it was worse in the home. Large numbers identified their children’s friends, or other members of the family as influences on their child’s aggressive behaviour, but a significant number (38.8%) were unsure, expressing their frustration with comments such as “That’s the $10,000 question”.
Parents talked about bullying, domestic violence, disabilities and mental health problems as triggers for the aggressive behaviour and identified inconsistent parenting and divorce and separation as other contributing factors.
Family Lives’ most recent online survey found that only 56% of parents had sought help for their child’s aggressive behaviour. This figure remained consistent with the findings from our 2010 survey, showing that families are still trying to cope alone with difficult behaviour. An alarming 35% had not sought help because they did not know where to go to find that help, and a further 11% did not seek help because of they felt there was stigma attached to it. Despite the impact on their family life, 20% of families did not seek help for fear of damaging their child’s life chances and instead suffered in silence trying to manage the behaviour themselves.
Family Lives Recommendations
The Charity is calling for the Coalition Government:
· To ensure in its response to the Family Justice Review that Parents receive the support they need to meet their child’s needs during separation as early as possible in the process. Divorce and separation has been identified by a number of families responding to our online survey as a trigger for their child's aggressive behaviour.
· To ensure that in focussing support on the early years, they do not lose sight of the problems of older and teenager children, further stigmatising the seeking of support for families experiencing difficulties with children in this age bracket.
· To commit to looking for sustainable ways to better integrate family support services with universal services.
To review the report visit http://fmly.me/wordshurtreport
Parents concerned about verbal or physical abuse from their children can call Family Lives’ free and confidential helpline, Parentline, on 0808 800 2222, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalised reply within 3 days.
Friday, 18 November 2011
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Please not that ALL meetings will be on a Friday afternoon, having tried this year with alternating between a Friday afternoon and Saturday evening, (as asked to by a few members,) in all honesty those who asked did not actually attend on the Saturday evenings, so we are going to revert to original day. It is very difficult to suit everyone. Also for your information April meeting will be incorporate the AGM.
Dates for Meetings 2012.
Friday Feb 3rd 2pm
Friday April 6th 2pm ( AGM)
Friday June 1st 2pm
Friday August 3rd 2pm
Friday October 5th 2pm
Friday December 7th 2pm.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Monday, 7 November 2011
Saturday, 5 November 2011
I am writing to you to register my profound disappointment and disgust at the recommendations made in the final report of the Family Justice Review.
The final report rejected not only a presumption of shared parenting following family breakdown in law, but also a statement to recognise the importance of the role of both parents in a child’s life. The report also failed to provide recommendations for strengthening the child’s right to contact with grandparents and the wider family.
It is stated in the report that the answer to improving outcomes for children in private family law is to ‘make parental responsibility work’. Parental responsibility was formally defined in the Children Act 1989; if parental responsibility alone were the answer, we would have seen improved outcomes for children over the past 20 years. Sadly, we see only ever increasing numbers of children becoming estranged from their parents through no fault of their own, to the detriment of their psychological, emotional and social wellbeing.
The family justice system is not in a state of crisis because people are unaware of the meaning of parental responsibility; instead, the problem is that it is all too easy for one parent to simply ignore this and omit the other from their child’s life, with a system which is unable and unwilling to take firm action to prevent it. Only a rebuttal presumption of shared parenting in law, where no risks to the child's welfare have been identified, will be enough to ensure that justice is served for children caught up in these most intractable cases.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Britain is a signatory, guarantees a child’s right to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents following separation or divorce, where to do so would not put the child at undue risk. It should be a source of shame for all of us that our current family law system produces outcomes so diametrically opposed to this simple, yet laudable, aim. That the Family Justice Review has decided to sidestep this issue is an opportunity lost, and one which risks betraying a new generation of children.
The Family Justice Review does of course only provide recommendations; not law. I therefore urge you in your capacity as Member for CONSTITUENCY to make representations to the Secretary of State for Justice The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary for Children and Families Tim Loughton MP, and request that any legislation proposed on family law will ensure that a child’s right to a meaningful relationship with both parents and their wider family following divorce and separation are respected and supported.
I keenly anticipate your reply.