We call upon the Welsh Assembly to persuade the Welsh Government to protect children and young people in Wales by formally recognising ‘Parental Alienation’ as a form of emotional abuse of children. We further call upon the Welsh Government to take specific actions to reduce the impact of Parental Alienation on children and their families.
We propose the following action:
• Recognise ‘Parental Alienation’ as emotional abuse of children with a definition incorporating the one given by the Ministry of Justice (paragraph 1) here)
• Commission and fund mandatory training for professionals including but not limited to Social Work and Cafcass Cymru staff, in recognising Parental Alienation including pathways to protect children from harm.
• Establish and fund a national campaign to inform children and families about Parental Alienation and the harm that it causes.
• Place a duty on Welsh Ministers to act to protect children from abuse and harm where Parental Alienation has been identified.
Parental Alienation has been defined by the Ministry of Justice as:
‘In cases where parents are separated, parental alienation refers to a situation in which one parent (usually the parent with whom the child lives) behaves in a way which creates anxiety in the child, so that it appears the child is opposed to living or spending time with the other parent.’
This definition is taken from the first paragraph of the Government’s response to Mr. Darren Towill’s petition.
CAFCASS in England have already recognised Parental Alienation as an abuse of children. CAFCASS CEO Anthony Douglas stated in an article in the Telegraph online dated 12th Feb 2017 about Parental Alienation that ‘“It’s undoubtedly a form of neglect or child abuse in terms of the impact it can have”.