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Support for Families who are the Victims of Crime

by Ridley&Hall in Children, Divorce, Family & Matrimonial, Helen Dandridge, Johanna Allen, Meena Kumari posted May 29, 2013.

The recent Channel 4 documentary ‘The Murder Workers’ was extremely interesting, if at times distressing viewing.

The programme focused on the work of Victim Support officers within the homicide team, and the work they undertake with families who are plunged into a world of chaos due to a relative being murdered.

One worker based in Essex, had worked with a grandmother for over 12 months who found herself as the full time carer for her three young grandchildren after her daughter, the children’s mother, was murdered by her partner, the children’s father.

The Victim Support worker assisted the grandmother in a number of ways, including providing emotional and financial support and to encourage child behavioural specialists to work with the children, who had witnessed their mother’s death.

One part of the programme also focused on the legal procedure the grandmother had to face. Although the children’s father had been found guilty of murder and was serving a lengthy prison sentence, as the only person with parental responsibility for the children, the grandmother found herself having to consult with the father on important decisions regarding the children’s well-being. Eventually, she was given an order of the court which gave her parental responsibility for her grandchildren and the father’s parental responsibility was taken away by the courts.

Helen Dandridge, Trainee Solicitor at Ridley & Hall, comments “Up and down the country, there are thousands of grandparents, relatives and other kinship carers who find themselves having to care for children through no fault of their own, whether this is a result of death or not. At such a traumatic time, considering any legal implications for the children are often not high on the list of priorities”.

Ridley & Hall is one of the leading law firms providing specialist advice and support to those carers to secure the legal and financial recognition they deserve. We are able to assist families in obtaining relevant court orders, including residence orders and special guardianship orders and to secure financial assistance from the local authority.

If you would like more information, please contact us on 01484 538421 and ask to speak to a member of the Family First Team.

Click here for more information about the services offered in Family First.

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