Why has this topic been in the news recently?
In January 2010 the vital role that grandparents often play in helping to bring up children was finally recognised by the Government when the Children’s Secretary, Ed Balls, described grandparents as ‘the unsung heroes when it comes to informal care arrangements for children and young people.”
The topic of grandparents’ rights will form a key part of each party’s election manifesto.
What changes are planned?
A Government Green Paper outlined measures to give grandparents rights to see grandchildren if families break down, as well as greater support for extended family members if they look after children rather than have them taken into care.
Why is the Government making these changes ?
Largely due to pressure from campaigners who point out that it is estimated that there are 200,000 grandparent carers in the UK, saving Local Authorities millions of pounds each year in foster and residential care.
This of course does not include the countless other grandparents who provide invaluable support to their own children in terms of free childcare to enable those parents to get out to work.
Where can I go for more information ?