Alienated parents in the UK fighting to keep in contact with their children have received what is seen as a major boost as a new body representing them them comes into being.
The National Association of Alienated Parents held its first workshop in London at the weekend to introduce itself to people who have lost contact with their children because of separation and are facing strife in family courts.
The association was augmented after D.A.D.s (dads against double standards), a Facebook group based in Swansea, began highlighting the fight through the consumerwatchfoundation.com last year and quickly gathered in excess of 20,000 members.
The workshop was organised by PA authorities Karen and Nick Woodall, who recently published a handbook for parents and practitioners, Understanding Parental Alienation, Learning to Cope, Helping to Heal.
Karen believes that parental alienation is finally starting to be seen as child abuse in the UK and CAFCASS – the organisation which claims it looks after the interests of children involved in family proceedings – has agreed it is necessary to change how it treats families.
A spokesman put it this way: “We work with children and their families, and then advise the courts on what we consider to be in the best interests of individual children.”
Many victims of PA deny this is what they do, claiming they do more damage to families and children than good.
Nick describes himself as: “A partner at the Family Separation Clinic. I focus on separating families and supporting the whole family to manage change in ways that provide the best outcomes for children.”
The Family Separation Clinic holds regular workshop for alienated parents.
Karen said: “Parents will be supported from now on by the new representative body – The National Association of Alienated Parents. We will join with other parent support bodies as part of the worldwide representation of the needs of families affected by PA. NAAP, will formally launch with a seminar at the House of Commons in February and will increase pressure on government and CAFCASS to properly meet their needs as set out by internationally recognised standards of practice.”
Andrew John Teague, from DADs who has fought for more than a year alongside his partner Sophie, his members and the consumerwatchfoundation.com to bring parental alienation to the attention of world said: “It’s been a long journey and a hard one and to see ideas turn into reality and from a cup of coffee here in Swansea has seen this move so far forward and so many help in the background we are a group of alienated parents who have come together to form a structure to help on many levels NAAP national association of alienated parents /Dad’s against double standards.
Karen said: “parental alienation is harmful to children and deeply distressing for families. In its worst form it is serious child abuse, in all forms it is a tragic outcome for children. I welcome the launch of NAAP and know that the power of loving parents will bring great change in the coming year.”