It has long been acknowledged that grandparents have an important role to play in the upbringing of children. Re W (Contact: Application by Grandparent)  1 FLR 793 in particular noted that contact with a grandparent may be beneficial for children. Statistics prepared by Grandparents Plus in July 2009 showed that approximately one in three families rely on grandparents for child care, rising to 47% of all single parent households. Yet Parliament, through the Children Act 1989, does not single out grandparents for particular rights or recognition simply by virtue of being grandparents.
The figures are striking. Research published by Families Need Fathers, the Grandparents Association and the Family Matters Institute indicates that 42% of grandparents lose contact with their grandchildren when their parents separate. The potential therefore for grandparents to become involved in proceedings for contact and other s8 orders is significant. In terms of public law proceedings, in July 2009 Grandparents Plus reported that 200,000 children were living with their grandparents as kinship carers, and that placement with grandparents was the preferred choice of 65% of parents in the event that they were unable to care for their children.
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For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/--