Ministry of Justice & Parental Alienation #parentalalienation #TotalReform
I would firstly like to thank Paula Bradshaw MLA, Andrew Bridgen MP, Ivan Lewis MP & Neil McEvoy AM for taking them time to raise this important issue to MOJ. I have been long campaigning with other campaigners to have Parental Alienation officially recognised and taken seriously her in the UK.
This is what Neil McEvoy AM had to say on his blog
Yesterday, a delegation of MPs met with new Ministry of Justice Minister Paul Maynard MP to discuss the issue of Parental Alienation and the failure of the current family law system to protect child and adult victims. Too often children have no contact with their non-resident parents on a long-term basis despite there being no evidence of abuse or harm.
The delegation handed over a formal submission from ‘Dear Sophie’ campaigners to the Ministry of Justice for consideration as part of their current review of the Family Justice System. The Minister agreed to ask the expert panel overseeing the review to consider the issue of Parental alienation. The MPs will also be seeking a meeting with the panel.
It was also agreed that the MPs will seek a meeting with Lord Justice Cobb who is undertaking a review of the current system on behalf of the President of the Courts Family Division.
At the MPs request the Minister agreed to meet representatives of alienated parents later in the year to hear at first hand of their traumatic experiences.
Ivan Lewis Member of Parliament for Bury South stated:
“Parental alienation is a human tragedy which can cause serious harm to children and parents alike. This meeting and the Ministers positive response was an important step forward. We will now build on this by seeking appropriate changes to the way family courts operate so Parental alienation is recognised as a serious issue which requires a fresh approach.”
Andrew Bridgen Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire stated:
“It was pleasing that the newly appointed Minister, Paul Maynard MP, listened to our presentation. It’s clear he appreciates this as a real issue, causing distress to both children and their estranged parents, and this will be included in the consultation on the current family law reform”.
Paula Bradshaw Member of Legislative Assembly (Northern Ireland) for South Belfast stated:
“Court induced child estrangement and parental alienation can be avoided if there is clear policy and guidance for our judiciary. This will require work and restructuring among support agencies, such as Cafcass, however for the short- and long-term needs of children caught into their dreadful situation, it will be worth it. For me, the deliberate denigration of one parent by another to their child(ren) to cause alienation is a serious form of domestic abuse and the sooner wider society and the judiciary, in particular, recognise it for what it is, the better.”
It's been a good day in London. I feel like the UK Government is starting to listen when it comes to tackling #ParentalAlienation. This is just the beginning and we've been invited back. Positive stuff. Welsh Governmemt needs to get on this too.
Neil McEvoy Assembly Member for South Wales Central in the National Assembly for Wales stated:
“It’s great that we’re starting to see some progress on parental alienation. It affects so many people; mums, dads, grandparents and the children themselves. I have confidence that the UK Government will keep listening after our positive first meeting with the Ministry of Justice. The under Secretary of State did assure us that there would be further talks and I welcome that. What was clear from giving evidence was that parental alienation is a common experience not just in Wales, but in England and Northern Ireland too. I hope the Welsh Government can take note from this meeting and start taking parental alienation seriously.”
Note to Editor
Parental Alienation usually occurs in an acrimonious divorce where a child ceases contact with the non-resident parent. This is despite there being no evidence of any abuse or harm and is frequently caused by the influence of the other parent. It is common for the child to seek to resume contact as a teenager or young adult when they leave home.
This can have a devastating long-term psychological impact on the child which continues into adulthood, and frequently leads to severe mental health problems for the alienated parent.
In a ground-breaking development, the World Health Organisation have recently adopted Parental Alienation (PA) as a health warning, ICD 11 explicitly defining PA as cause of potential serious health challenge. – based on evidence it is a very important contributor to decline in health.
I would firstly like to say I am sorry to the fathers out there they will not get the opportunity to celebrate father’s day with their beautiful children due to Parental Alienation. There is no excuses for this type of behaviour towards you but know one thing your child/ren will appreciate the effort you made fighting for them. I miss more daughter more than any words could ever describe and one day she will know and understand this directly from me and no one else.
So, I know today will be hard and you might not be in the mood to interact with anyone as everything today will remind you of father’s day and not seeing your child/ren. Just a thought if you have the strength to do this write a letter to your child explaining exactly how you feel and how much you miss them. They may not be able to see it today but one day they will and it will mean the world to them to know how much you love and miss them.
You, a father are wonderful and you should never allow anyone to take that away from you. I see how you fight this corrupt biased system and continue that fight because of the love you have for your child/ren. I see what you’re doing and so do the thousands who have shared your journey until this day and no one can ever tell you that you are not a committed father NO ONE!
NOT every father is a perpetrator or abuser these lies have continued for far too long and we will put a stop to it. We will unite as one and show the world how far a father will go for the love of his child/ren, you are not ALONE!
I will include some beautiful quotes to remind you just how special you are and that no one can take that away from you.
Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful, loving, caring and strong men out there
To introduce a law that recognises Parental Alienation as a criminal offence.
Petition Link https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/249833
A petition was set up to recognise Parental Alienation as a criminal offence, which to me makes perfect sense. Why? Because it is a form of emotional abuse and not enough is being done about it currently. I won’t go into it as I have already written my reply to the Ministry of Justice.
This is the Ministry of Justices reply to the petition
The Government is aware of the difficulties that parents can face in continuing a relationship with their child following parental separation or divorce, sometimes because of the obstructive behaviour of the other parent. We recognise that such behaviour causes great harm to children, particularly in situations where children are already distressed by the break-up of their family.
“Parental alienation” describes a situation where a child’s resistance or hostility towards one parent is not justified and is the result of psychological manipulation by one of their parents in order to undermine or interfere with the relationship with the other parent.
The Government is confident that the family justice system can robustly address such behaviour when it is alleged in child arrangements cases and we are continuing to strengthen our work in this area.
The legal framework which governs family law cases is gender neutral. There is a statutory presumption that the involvement of either parent in the child’s life will further the child’s welfare, unless the contrary can be shown. In reaching decisions in cases about the child’s upbringing, the court must consider the child’s ascertainable wishes and feelings and how capable each of the parents are of meeting the child’s needs.
In making decisions about child arrangements, the family court may seek social work analysis and recommendations from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). Cafcass practitioners are aware of the potential for children to be influenced by parental views and are alive to this issue when it is raised in child arrangements cases. Any concerns of alienating behaviours by a parent will be reported to the court when assessing the children’s best interests, which includes assessing the level of parental influence on a child’s wishes and feelings. The focus is on the safety and welfare of the children in each case.
Cafcass is continuing to develop its work in addressing parental alienation when it arises in child arrangements cases. Cafcass launched the Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF) last year. The framework includes various tools and guidance that further support its practitioners in identifying how individual children are experiencing parental separation and helps assess the impact of different factors on a child, including alienating behaviour by a parent. Further information is available on the Cafcass website at www.Cafcass.Gov.UK.
Exceptionally, in cases of persistent parental alienation over time, the family court may decide that the child’s longer-term welfare is best served by a transfer of the child’s residence from one parent to the other. The alienating parent’s involvement can then be facilitated by the other parent. Such decisions are, however, profound for the child and are never taken lightly.
Today is International Parental Alienation Day, please show your support by changing your profile picture on your social media to show your support and help raising awareness please.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is the process, and the result, of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. It is a distinctive form of psychological abuse and family violence, towards both the child and the rejected family members, that occurs almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce, particularly where legal action is involved. The most common cause is one parent wishing to exclude the other parent from the life of their child, though family members or friends, as well as professionals involved with the family (including psychologists, lawyers and judges), may contribute to the process. Parental alienation often leads to the long-term, or even lifelong, estrangement of a child from one parent and other family members and, as a significant adverse childhood experience and form of childhood trauma, results in significantly increased lifetime risks of both mental and physical illness. #parentalalienation #pa #family #children #kids #timeforchange #TotalReform
So, after a month the public letter I wrote to Tom McCormack (Child Maintenance Group Director) has finally got a reply. Was the reply from Tom or one of his staff? Obviously it is one of his staff as Tom takes no personal responsibility for being the group director and can work with impunity. Never in the history of government organisations have I come across one that self-police’s such as CMS. All the so called independent bodies that regulate them are not so independent and this is what creates the chaos called CMS.
Profit is more important than families and children and with every reply I receive they make it clear that they can work above the law and independent bodies. An example, I lodged a data breach complaint with CMS and the ICO Information Commissioner’s Office who is supposed to be an independent body for data breaches. Not only have they still not replied to me but they actually spoke to CMS and told them to police and deal with it themselves! Yep a so called independent body not being so independent!
We had the same issues with the police and unfortunately it took a series of tragic events to enforce change. The same thing is happening with CMS and even though we have had a number of people going homeless or committing suicide they don’t care as long as you PAY if not you will be slapped with a liability order. No due process, no possibility to defend yourself in court, no right to a fair trial absolutely nothing.
I have said they numerous times if this was any other organisation the directors would have been called into the select committee and grilled. Then more than likely a police investigation would have been started, so why is it different for government organisations to break the law with no consequences for their actions! Only time will tell but remember one thing nothing is stronger than people power, never under estimate what people power can do.
Child Maintenance Service was founded in 2012 to provide a service for parents to use to keep financial payments up for their children. In theory, this sounded like a good idea but unfortunately, it was not a well thought out one. People have been abusing the system for decades as before it was CMS it was actually called Child Support Agency (CSA). People have been denied access to their children strictly for financial gain and CMS are happy to facilitate this by accepting those applications. Why does CMS do this because they can then themselves add fees on top to rack up ridiculous fees and yet no one in the government wants to address this problem and just bury their heads in the sand.
Why does MP’s not want a fairer CMS service for all involved? Well, this would not help rake in profits of approximately 1 million+ per month that is why! Unfortunately, this is left to the fathers to pick up the slack financially and more than likely will result in them having arrears and liability orders slapped on them. Which in turn does not allow them to pay for their own children they are not allowed to even see. You’re probably thinking that cannot be right it sounds counterproductive, you would be right it is. The problem is if you have a “service” that actually does not know what it is doing and clearly has not learnt a thing from its previous setup as CSA then clearly nothing will change.
This service has become a national disgrace more so than universal credit and needs to be heavily regulated.
So, I wrote an open letter to Tom McCormack (The Child Maintenance Group Director)