When you are dealing with pensioners who live on a fixed income, is it really fair that they should lose their grandchildren forever because they can’t afford a lawyer. We, Kathey and Rob Raskin of Las Vegas, think not, but that is exactly what is happening to one grandmother in Gloucester, England. A paternal grandmother of a child whose parents were unable to care for him has been forced to fight local child protective services for custody of her beloved grandchild after caseworkers recommended the child be put up for adoption.
An Unprecedented Ruling
Due to financial difficulties, this grandmother was forced to fight the courts without legal counsel. As increasing numbers of grandparents both in the US and in the US become caretakers of their grandchildren, the accessibility of legal help for these guardians has become more important than ever before, but no provisions have been made to provide free-of-charge family law help. In an unprecedented ruling that will hopefully set an example other court justices will follow, the judge who presided over the case not only ruled that the grandmother should be awarded custody of the child—he also ruled that the details of her experience be made public. Gloucester’s child protective system has been described as inadequate, and the thanks to their inadequacy the baby was unnecessarily put at risk by remaining in the system for far too long—seven months, in fact, in a system that has a maximum cap of 26 weeks. At last the baby is with his grandmother, and we, Kathey and Rob Raskin, hope to see more cases have outcomes like this one.