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Family Courts: Grandparents

Volume 493: debated on Friday 12 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what (a) recent discussions he has had and (b) discussions he has planned with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service on ensuring that family court proceedings include the examination of the relationship between grandparents and children. (278456)

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families has had no discussions with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) on the issue of the relationship between grandparents and children in court proceedings and none are planned on this issue.

CAFCASS has a statutory remit to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected and that children are not put at risk. It is for local authorities to explore kinship care and placements with the wider family in public law care cases and for CAFCASS to explore whether extended family placement options have been properly considered and assessed.

CAFCASS, in family court cases, often need to consider the relevance of a child's attachment to one or more grandparents and to promote both contact and residence options where these are in the child's best interests.