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Entries in film (2)


Parental Alienation: interview with Karen Woodall

When Karen Woodall from the Centre for Separated Families was in Edinburgh for our events on December 4th we filmed a short interview with her.

Kare gave two talks that day, one to a audience composed mainly of professionals (lawyers, mediators, child psychiatrists and people working with children and parents).  After mentioning how the English courts are recognising alienation as a feature of some high conflict contact disputes, she described how this unreasonable rejection of one parent is a sign that a child's adaptation to parental separation has gone wrong.

She talked about cases she has experienced and treatment routes involving work with the whole family.  The need for a "super-parent" was mentioned - taking a role when the parents themselves aren't able to sort things out. 

For cases in court, the judge could act as "super-parent", and in discussion it was commented that a few Sheriff's are already dong this.

The evening session was attended by parents and grandparents who are experiencing alienation, including some who are not seeing their children at all.  Karen talked about the causes of alienation and how it is affected by the previous experience of the parents, as well as offering reassurance that alienated children do eventually seek out the rejected parent.

In bringing Karen Woodall to Scotland, FNFS hopes to promote follow-on work both amongst the legal and family support professionals and amongst Scottish parents affected by alienation.  We are gathering comments and experiences through a short survey which is open to anyone, not just participants at the events, and will promote further networking. 

See also this Scottish site and Karen's blog.


People call it "living bereavement"

Jane and Mark haven't seen their granddaughter for five years, since their son split up with the children's mother.

In hard-hitting and emotional item on BBC Inside Out West, grandparents describe the grief and agony of not seeing their grandchildren because of family conflict.

Some grandparents have spent their life savings in attempts to get court orders for contact, but even with a court order there is no guarantee the contact takes place.

Proposed shared care legislation in England may help, but there is still a lot to be done before this problem is solved.

As Jane says "Our hope for the future is that one day we will open our front door to a young lady" their missing grand-daughter.

Grandparents Apart have been campaigning on this issue in Scotland for many years, and grandparents often also attend Families Need Fathers Scotland groups to seek our support.