Children of Separated Parents

Oral Answers to Questions — Children, Schools and Families – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 4th February 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 2:30 pm, 4th February 2008

What steps his Department is taking to provide relationship support and services to children of separated parents.

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

The children's plan contains a commitment to improve support during and after family breakdown, including helping children to maintain contact with both parents. My Department promotes strong families and seeks to minimise the impact of breakdown on children. Families can access services via children's centres and extended schools. We fund marriage and relationship support through grants, and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support ServiceCAFCASS—safeguards and promotes the best interests of children in family court proceedings.

b

Cafcass do not have the best track record as far as looking after the best interests of children is concerned. The Government really should have another look at their own consultation paper, "Family Justice - the operstion of the family court", which seems to have been heavily influenced by the lifework of a Pennysylvanian psychologist...

Submitted by barbara richards Continue reading

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

The Children's Commissioner for England has said that the most important cause of unhappiness in children is the threat of family breakdown. Will the Government therefore look sympathetically at the family relationship centres in Australia, which have bipartisan support and help parents to reach agreement on post-separation parenting? They also do a lot to strengthen intact family relationships and marriages.

b

I do not see how anyone can look sympathetically at the Australian system, when they are using the same syndrome, written by the avocator of paedophilia, Richard Gardner, in so many of the family court dispute cases.

Submitted by barbara richards

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

I know that the hon. Gentleman is very keen on the Australian model and that he has long taken an interest in that subject. I am sure that that has nothing to do with the fact that he had an Australian mother. The Legal Services Commission has recently finished piloting the family advice and information services, known as FAINS. These are aimed at encouraging the development of a more holistic approach, including clients working with their solicitors to develop a personal action plan to identify the actions that the client and other agencies will take, and the support that the client will need, in addition to that of a solicitor. So there is already a FAINS pilot in place, and we will evaluate it in the near future, perhaps before we go on to consider the hon. Gentleman's preferred native solution.

R

"Australian Mother", "native solution" what snide comments about such an important debate. Makes me ashamed to be a Labour supporter sometimes

Submitted by Ronald Brumwell