Charlie is Conservative Member of Parliament for Dover and Deal. Follow him on Twitter.
Yesterday, the Government made a big step towards improving child welfare. It is looking to give children the right to know and have a relationship with both their parents following separation. A change in the law is likely to enshrine this right in legislation.
This is a real step forward for all of us who have been making the case for children to know and have a relationship with both their parents following separation. The Government announcement also amounts to a rejection of the muddled and confused thinking of the recent report of the Family Justice Review – better known as the Norgrove Report.
Norgrove claimed that there was no need to change the law. In particular the report muddled equality of time with a relationship. A relationship is not about a 50/50 sharing of time – it is about knowing and having someone to turn to, someone to talk to who cares about you.
Is a change needed in this area? The numbers are pretty clear – in the UK one million children have no contact with the non-resident parent three years after separation. One million children who could benefit from having the mentorship, guidance and affection that good parenting is all about. A change in the law here will make a massive difference and do much to promote the welfare of children.