Fife Gingerbead Blog

Child Maintenance Consultation – Blink and You’ll Miss It

See the child, not the system.

This blog is basically made up of jaggy wee questions that the government will never answer. First question, what is the point of asking people what they think if you don’t really want to know their answer?  Is the point of a public consultation really just to tick a box and pretend that you are playing a fair game? Is it really just to validate what you are going to do anyway and ignore anything you don’t want to hear?

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Starting a BIG Conversation

A couple of years back I was involved in organising an event for Children’s Services in Fife. Tam Baillie spoke at the event in his role as Children’s Commissioner.  Much to my wry amusement one of our volunteers, who is not known for holding back, held up her hand to ask a question. She asked are we really serious about tackling children’s rights? Why is she and thousands of other lone parents feeling let down? Why were they struggling to feed children whilst absent parents walked away? Nobody cares; she said, and exclaimed that we really need to turn our attention on child maintenance.

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Total Can of Worms

I met with some of my colleagues the other day to talk through the rough draft of the Child Maintenance research so far.  “What are we learning?”

Well where do I start? It’s a ‘total can of worms’, and I can see why nobody wants to open it.  The topic is so complex and emotional that it is nearly impossible to fathom.  Normally when you do a piece of research and produce a report you feel as if you are halfway to coming up with a series of recommendation that will result in solutions – well not with this one. There are no easy answers – it is, indeed, a skanky can of worms.

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Bairns Come First? Aye Right.

I was in a mum’s house today, accompanying a support worker on a home visit. The mum moved in just before Christmas and borrowed a table top cooker from us to make her Christmas dinner. She has three bairns, and once they go to school in the morning, if she has nowhere to go, she goes to bed and stays there till they come home. She says it’s cosy, and it saves money on the heating. There’s no carpet in the living room, only a few pieces of well used furniture and a bucket on the floor to catch the metronomic drips from a leak in the roof.

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