Grandparents Apart UK

Grandparents Apart UK
"Bringing Families Together"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Freelance Journalists

Dear all,

I would like to warn you about free lance journalists who promise you payment (not even asked for) for stories then never hear from them again. The time and labour I have put into it is a big expense out of our funds for phoning our members usually at the shortest notice to take part can provide up to £1000.00p for these journalists

Two major magazines have been involved concerning £200.00p and one of £400,00p for our funds via a freelance from Stroud. The magazines knew about the deals but took nothing to do with it.

I have always went out of my way to help but how many times have you been disappointed by the stories end result, forgetting to put in your details of contact, switching the story to suit their own best interests and being told it was the editor who left it out.

What have they really done for you? Today’s internet and organisations like Facebook ‘s widespread publicity etc. Who needs freelancers when they are deceptive?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Letter from Scottish Government

The Scottish Government
T 0131-244 3322 F: 0131-244

Mr James Deuchars22 AIness CrescentGlasgowG52 1PJ
Our ref: 2009/00243500R6 August 2009

Dear Mr Deuchars
Thank you for your emails of 30 July to Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education andLifelong Learning, Minister for Children and Early Years, John Swinney, Cabinet Secretaryfor Finance and Sustainable Growth and your earlier email to my colleague Liam Rankin. I have been asked to thank you for your emails and respond on their behalf.

As you know the Scottish Government greatly valued the input made by stakeholders suchas yourself to the development of the Charter for Grandchildren, which was widelydistributed to a range of outlets. The Charter for Grandchildren was designed to be a non-legislative complement to the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. It is a document aimed at highlighting the important role grandparents and the wider family can play in supportingchildren, particularly through difficult times. The intention is that the publication can be usedby the legal profession, family support organisations and others on a voluntary basis.

During the passage of the Family Law Bill through the Scottish Parliament, the issue of grandparents' rights was discussed and it was agreed that giving grandparents a legal rightto contact with their grandchildren might not be in their best interests in every case. Anyonewith an interest in a child such as a grandparent or other family member can apply to thecourts for contact with them. In making a decision the court will hold the welfare of the childas its principal concern.

As you know, the Scottish Government firmly believes that, if a child cannot live with theirbirth parents, the first option should be to consider the ability and capacity of kinship carersin the wider family to provide the child with a safe and permanent home. You may be interested to know that the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 were laid inParliament on 3 June 2009. The new regulations cover planning for all looked after children;ind set out what has to happen when a child is looked after at home, placed with a kinshipor foster carer or in a residential establishment. They also cover the assessment and approval of kinship and foster carers and the role of fostering panels within local authorities.

The overall aim of the regulations is to improve the planning and decision making process forall looked after children and their carers. The regulations will mean that, for the first time. kinship carers of looked after children will have a formal statutory role. There will be a rangeof responsibilities and duties on both the local authority and the carer to meet the needs ofthe looked after child. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the regulations will come into forceon 28 September 2009. We have also commissioned The Fostering Network and the BritishAssociation for Adoption and Fostering to jointly develop a detailed guidance package toaccompany the new regulations. A training programme will also be rolled out across all local authorities in Scotland to help them implement the new legislation In cases where adoption is considered to be the best option to provide that child with a permanent safe, secure and stable home, an adoption agency must undertake a thorough assessment. This assessment takes in the wider family circumstances and will considercontact arrangements where these are in the best interests of the child. However, the final decision on what arrangements for contact between the child and their natural family,including grandparents and siblings, is a matter for the court to decide in considering an adoption application and all the evidence presented.
Yours sincerely

Claire McDermottFamily and Property Law

St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG