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To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the needs of parents, grandparents and extended families predominantly or wholly separated from their children as a result of family breakdown.
The vast majority of families make their own arrangements for their children following parental separation, without the need for any kind of intervention by the state. Grandparents and extended family members are often an important part of those arrangements.
Whilst the Government have commissioned research to assess the needs of children following family breakdown (Mooney, 2010 Impacts of Family Breakdown on Children's Well Being), the needs of parents, grandparents and extended family members separated from their children has been less well researched. This is why the Family Justice Review invited evidence on this issue. The panel received evidence from a wide range of organisations, groups and individuals which is helping to shape its recommendations. In addition, the Government published a consultation Child Maintenance Reform: Strengthening Families, Promoting Parental Responsibility in January this year. This consultation included questions on how support services can better support families experiencing relationship breakdown. Once the Family Justice Review Panel has issued its final report in the autumn, we shall give full consideration as to whether further assessment of the needs of parents, grandparents and extended family members who are separated from children is required.