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Grandparents

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether he has estimated the number of young people cared for by grandparents. (212621)

The Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents collects information on the types of child care families had used, including informal provision such as care by grandparents. The 2007 survey estimated that 25 per cent. of families had used grandparents to provide child care in the week before the survey, compared with 26 per cent. in 2004 (this change was not statistically significant).

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2008, Official Report, column 452W, on grandparents, what research the Government have (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on grandparental access to grandchildren in the last 10 years; if he will take steps to commission research on the role of parents in governing grandparent-grandchild relations; and if he will make a statement. (212676)

We have not commissioned or evaluated any research on grandparental access to grandchildren in the last 10 years, and we have no immediate plans to commission research on the role of parents in governing grandparent/grandchild relations. We believe that parents are usually best placed to make decisions about their children's relationships with grandparents and other relatives. However, with leave of the court, it is possible for grandparents to apply for a contact order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989, to enable them to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.