Agony Aunts and Journalists to speak to MPs
A group of Agony Aunts and Journalists will be speaking to MPs in a meeting on 25th February 2009 at 2.30pm to explain why they believe the care system and Family Courts in England is not working properly and needs more attention than the government is giving it.
House of Commons Committee Room 17 – 2.30pm.
Camilla Cavendish (The Times), Sue Reid (The Daily Mail), Denise Robertson (Agony Aunt - ITV's This Morning) will be talking to MPs.
Other journalists and Agony Aunts that support the group include journalists Cassandra Jardine (Daily Telegraph), Kate Hilpern (Freelance working for Guardian and Independent), Ben Leapman (Sunday Telegraph), Ian Griggs (Independent on Sunday) and Agony Aunts Lorraine Kelly (Best), Dr Pam Spurr (MSN and The Times), Keren Smedley (Womens Weekly), Jane O'Gorman (Daily Star, Sunday Express 'S' Magazine and Daily Star On Sunday) Susan Quilliam (That's Life Magazine) and Jane Butterworth (News of the World).
Proposals that will be suggested for improving the system improve:
Allowing social workers more time to see children and families and less time in front of computers
Continue progress towards transparency in the family courts
Allow parents to have a second opinion
Provide public support for appeals and contesting care orders
Provide some public support for Mackenzie Friends
Expert evidence should only come from regulated professionals
All hearings should have anonymous judgments
Clayton v Clayton should not be reversed
Serious Case Review chairs should be independent and appointed indepedently
National guidance is needed to define what "risk of significant harm" means
The extended family should be listened to and involved.