Tuesday during a quiet time of year. Everyone is off on their hols, its been hot. Most of us are depressed by the way in which the Coalition government has spectacularly failed separated families. I am planning how to provide the antidote to the appalling government farce that is help and support for separated families. Elsewhere another ghastly government department is gearing up for its latest fiasco, yes folks, its the Voice of the Child Cafcass Conference in Birmingham.
From the Cafcass website I read, with a sinking feeling the following
The Family Justice Young People’s Board is hosting a conference in Birmingham on 9th August 2013. The conference will be an opportunity for Cafcass stakeholders and other members of the family justice and social care sectors to explore the system from young people’s points of view.
Delegates will hear real life stories from children and young people with experience of the family courts, and have the opportunity to discuss best practice with young people.
Key decision and policy makers will also give presentations at the conference, highlighting novel and creative ways to ensure the voice of the child is heard in family proceedings.
And wonder which bleeding heart liberal came up with this bright idea. I know, when parents cannot agree on caring for their children after separation, why not get the kids to tell us how to do it. Great idea, what a wheeze, like all the other lefty liberal ideas in the field of family separation, let’s abdicate our adult responsibilities and give them to the kids!
I cannot think of anything less helpful to children than to burden them with the responsibility for what rightfully belongs to their parents. But, like all trends in child led parenting, where your kids are called your ‘mate’ and you ask them what kind of parent they would like you to be, its all about people who haven’t grown up or cannot accept that they have. I despair of CAFCASS and its upper echelons, who plough onward into this child led nonsense as it if were the holy grail, instead of something which contributes to many of the attachment disorders I see in my work and the ‘parentification’ of too many children after separation.
I note that F4J are planning a demo at the conference. This has been viewed by CAFCASS with horror and warnings have been ladled out about children needing to be safe and secure. Activists are expected, no doubt they will be fathers. Children must be protected from these big bad wolves at all costs. Security at the Conference will be tightened.
I am reminded of the way in which our nationally funded services around separated families treat men with either fear or disdain. Children must only be allowed near their fathers after separation where its safe to do so. Careful kids, those F4J chaps might just bite you, either that or you will be in danger of being parented by them, (not sure which is worse in the eyes of CAFCASS).
CAFCASS are not all bad, no, really, I mean it. Some of the CAFCASS staff I work with really ‘get’ what is wrong and want to work in a different way. Trouble is, in the lofty branches at the top of the CAFCASS tree, there is a rather distorted sort of vision.
And its not just CAFCASS who have this idea that children are the people who should be telling us what to do after separation either. The Kids in the Middle Campaign, which has reared another version of its pointless head, has not only landed the kids with the responsibility for telling other kids how to feel and what to tell their parents about it after separation, it has lumbered them with the responsibility for raising funds to deliver it too. And NYAS have popped up in my consciousness this week too, spouting their own version of children should be doing it for themselves. Do you know I am not even sure why we bother with parents in this society of ours these days, why don’t we just make kids raise themselves and sit back and put our feet up?
Child led parenting? What’s not to like. Nothing to do, no-one to guide, no problems to solve, no tears to wipe, no decisions to make, no bearing the burdens so our kids don’t have to.
Off now to find a child to make me a cup of tea and tell me how he would like to be parented after separation.
Bit of a breeze this work isn’t it?