What are Children and Family Reporters

Children and Family Reporters are officers of the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). They work with families who have trouble deciding on arrangements for the care of the children. Their main interest is to protect the welfare of the children and they provide the family courts with advice on this subject. However, Children and Family Reporters are independent of the court. In addition, although they are trained in social work and have experience working with families and children, they are independent of social services, health and education authorities and all other similar authorities.

The family courts encourage families to decide for themselves the best and most suitable arrangements for the care of the children within the family. This can be done informally or through the use of family mediation which family lawyers can organise. If the families are unable to come to a practical and realistic agreement, they can apply to the family courts to make the decision instead. The family courts are able to make orders that determine how the children will be cared for, and before the family courts make those orders they may enlist the help of a Children and Family Reporter. The role of the Children and Family Reporter is to work with both parties to the dispute and attempt to reach an agreement without the involvement of the court.

If the parties are still unable to reach an agreement with the Children and Family Reporters help, there are a number of things that the Children and Family Reporter can recommend to the court. They can recommend that the court delay the proceedings so they continue to work with the family in order to reach an agreement, or so that they can write a full welfare report for the court.

A welfare report is a report that contains the Child and Family Reporters recommendation on what is best for the children. In order to write this report they will need to speak to the children in question and both parties involved. They are also able to speak to other people who can provide information on the situation, such as doctors, social workers and relatives. The process of writing a full welfare report can take up to ten weeks. For more information on this contact family lawyers.

The family court will carefully consider the opinion of the Children and Family Reporter and their full welfare report when making their decision.

Make This Christmas Beautiful For Needy Children by Adopting Operation Santa Program

Christmas is a festival of love, care and happiness. It is actually one of the most awaited and loved festival across the globe. For kids the festival is even more important. It is the day when they would receive their impeding gift from the big man. Yes the Santa Claus who brings the kids the gifts they have written for. How can we forget those innocent letters that kids write to Santa every year demanding their special gift items? In their innocence they don’t realize that it is actually their parents who provide them with things they have wished for. Writing letters to Santa is actually the most loved tradition in this festival that promotes the belief of love. Have you ever wondered that there might be kids who won’t receive their Christmas present? Yes actually there are millions of them who keep waiting for their present to come. Their families are financially inadequate to provide their kids what they have requested for.

Can we do something to help such kids? Again, yes absolutely. The United postal services have come up with a unique program known as Operation Santa. It is very noble opportunity through which you can help the needy children. Through this you can adopt the Christmas letters to Santa There are millions of Santa letters received by the postal department every year. Through this program you can adopt any one of them by answering it. Here you can send the kid the gift the kid has requested for. Don’t worry such children never demand expensive luxury items, their wish list is generally limited to basic essentials such as clothes, woolens, shoes, toys etc. You can easily pay for such items without any kind of financial stress. The postal department sends the gifts on your behalf. Earlier you could also get the contact details of the concerned family but now due to privacy concerns such details are not provided. So won’t you feel satisfied if some eagerly waiting kid receives his due present?nt?

To be the volunteer for Operation Santa program you can contact your nearest post office and get all the necessary details. Otherwise there are specific websites too that provides the concerned details. You can search for such sites on the internet and get all the necessary information such as participating post offices etc. If the nearest postal office to you doesn’t support this program then there are other mediums too to do charity for needy kids. You can donate to specific NGO’s that work for such causes or can also donate to orphanages, church etc.

Be an elf is a nonprofit organization that supports the United States Postal Services Christmas letters to Santa program.

Healthy Pregnancy Diet – Eating Well During Pregnancy

A healthy and balanced diet is of great importance in women who are pregnant, so the famous “goodies or snacks” that can lead to obesity, should be replaced by the nutritional recommendations of your obstetrician. This is to avoid complications that may endanger your life and your baby.

Pregnancy is a stage that is associated with a number of important anatomical and functional changes, which include the increased requirements of some nutrients that are important for the proper development of your baby. Therefore, it is very important to take preventive measures to ensure the best possible health for you and your baby. So, one of the most important considerations is to have a healthy pregnancy diet.

It is important to meet the nutritional requirements recommended during pregnancy, since the specific deficiency of certain elements can cause major complications to your pregnancy.

Some nutrients of vital importance during pregnancy are:

FOLIC ACID

Folic acid deficiency, for example, is associated significantly with certain birth defects in your baby, so it is of vital importance to increase its consumption, even before starting the pregnancy. The recommended intake must be increased to 147% to prevent the defects associated with deficiency.

VITAMINS C and B12

During pregnancy the levels of vitamins C and B12 decrease gradually. That is why the recommended intake of these vitamins must be increased by 67 and 40% respectively.

IRON

Iron deficiency is a major cause of anemia that can occur during pregnancy.

Healthy Food Choices:

Tell yourself that making smart eating choices is non-negotiable. You have to eat healthy food. End of discussion!

There are some foods where you can find the nutrients needed for your pregnancy and are important for maintaining a balanced diet. These foods are based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, protein (milk, fresh cheese, red meat-preferably fat-free as chicken and fish), and reduce the intake of sugars and fats.

The deficiency of vital foods during pregnancy may have important consequences, either because of the loss of nutrients, or because they are not consumed in the proper amount to satisfy the demand of your pregnancy.

Healthy food is essential to avoid gaining massive amounts of weight during pregnancy. If you do, you are putting your baby at risk and setting yourself up for a long road of dieting after the baby is born. Tell yourself that you and your baby are worth it, so you have to go to the store and stock up on healthy food.

Here you have a basic guide of foods for your pregnancy:
Fruit (2-4 servings): Remember that a serving is half cup of cut fruit, one medium fruit (like a pear or apple) or three plums.
Cereals (6-11 servings): one serving equals one slice of bread, 150 gr. cereal or 100 gr. rice or pasta.
Dairy (3-4 servings): A serving is a glass of milk, two yoghurts, 150 gr. of cheese or a pudding.
Meats (2-3 servings): A serving is a fillet of beef, chicken, fish, or two eggs.
Vegetables (3-5 servings): one cup of raw vegetables or half a cup of cooked vegetable.

Classic Childrens Books

Selecting a classic childrens book can be fun, rewarding and a trip down memory lane. There are some unifying things that make childrens books classics.

First of all, childrens books should be bright and colorful, with illustrations that capture a childs attention. Books by Dr. Seuss are prime examples of classic childrens stories which make successful use of vibrant colors. Goodnight, Moon, Goodnight, Gorilla, and anything by Eric Carle are also excellent examples of books with illustrations that suck in the reader.

Secondly, classic childrens books should tell a good story, often with humor. Kids love to laugh, and a well-written childrens book will crack a child up over and over. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf, The Paper Bag Princess, and Click Clack, Moo Cows that Type are fast becoming childrens classics because they crack kids up every time! The Ramona Quimby and Junie B. Jones series also are great examples!

Finally, classic childrens books engage children at their level. For young children, these are books that have a tactile component, something they can touch and manipulate. For example, Pat the Bunny is a book that even the youngest children can engage with because it is soft, and they can explore through touch. When children get a little older, many childrens stories are books with repetition.

Classic stories like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly are stories with repeating lines. As children listen to the book, they can fill in the blanks of the story with these repeating phrases. From there, many childrens books incorporate rhyme. That is why Dr. Seuss is so popular. Finally, as children get older, they appreciate classic childrens stories with great characters, doing great things.

Where the Wild Things Are, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Amelia Bedelia and Ruby in Her Own Time are examples of classic childrens stories with great characters exploring an exciting time for them. These classic stories also have lessons but they do not beat children over the head with them.

Obviously, classic childrens stories mean different things to different people. Reading a plethora of different types of stories to children is vital to them becoming good, mature, accomplished readers. This is also a key to getting children to love to read! Every book that a child connects to is a classic in his or her own mind, and that is a great thing indeed.

Organic Baby Care

There are now many ways in which taking care of our babies can reflect our concern for saving the planet. Organic baby products abound and they are every bit as good – if not better – than traditional products. The most expensive thing as far as ongoing expense is concerned would have to be the disposable nappy. While using these may save the busy mother time and effort, they certainly mount up in landfill and take a very long time to degrade.

The discerning mother who has the time will find that terry towelling nappies are a great deal less expensive and last for two or three babies. The mess can be dealt with more easily by using nappy liners, something our grandmothers had to do without. If fabric nappies are not an option, then washable bamboo nappies can be purchased.

These use the technology of man-made fabric on the outer part, while the inner core is made from bamboo products – as soft as silk and much more absorbent than ordinary disposables. They are more expensive than disposables, but being able to reuse them offsets this. And the extra absorbency means that not as many have to be used over the same time frame.

Organic baby clothing such as singlets, jackets, bootees and nearly everything else a baby could need can also be purchased made from bamboo, hemp or silk – all natural fibres. Wool and cotton are two of the most used baby clothing fibres. Bed linen such as cot sheets, pillows, and blankets can all be made of natural fabrics. A baby’s skin is very soft and delicate, so using organic baby products ensures that there is nothing to irritate or harm it in any way.

Then there are the many different cleaners that you need to use for babies and their clothing. Sometimes bleach is necessary to get out those stubborn stains, so you need to use some that is safe for the environment. Bleach that is free of chlorine, dyes and fragrances is available for those who want to do their bit to reduce toxic waste and keep our planet healthy. Laundry detergent that is kind to the environment can also be used.

Once parents start to think in terms of lowering the amount of toxic wastes that go into our waterways, they will see the value of paying a little extra to help the environment become – and remain – pure and clean.

Mel also writes about a renewable energy and sustainable living for people passionate about the environment and looking for new ways to minimize their carbon footprint

There Is Assistance For Single Mothers

If you find yourself a single mom and realize that times are tough and it’s very hard to make ends meet, you are not alone. It’s a tough job playing the role of mother, finance manager, worker, etc. when you are alone.

Going back to school is always an option if you can figure out a way to pay for it. What if I told you there is financial aid for single mothers? Or it could be that you need help paying your bills. Life can bring unexpected expenses that can drain the account and cause you to reach for a credit card or let other bills go unpaid. If you need help paying for daycare, finding a job, or just putting food on the table, there are several types of financial assistance for single mothers that you can tap into.

Child support and alimony are not always reliable. There are ways to obtain help with this – help with legal fees, etc. Contact your local social services group for more information on help.

Sometimes you may just need a helping hand to get you back on your feet. It doesn’t mean that you are going to be living on welfare, or are a dead beat. It just means that you are going through what a lot of people both men and women are – financial difficult times.

If you have children, you owe it to them to seek and receive help. There are forms of assistance out there to help you in your time of distress. At least you are taking a step in the right direction and seeking after that help. You owe it to your children and yourself. Go ahead and apply for financial aid to go back to school, especially if it means you will get a better paying job when you are finished. Tap into valuable resources to help you collect child support. Take advantage of the programs that exist just for single moms. Plan to use assistance programs as a temporary solution; just one step in your plan for the future.

Problem Children Scenarios – Options For Parents

In Scotland, the Boarding Schools Association wants to offer places at their schools for problem children as they are convinced that a similar scheme already operating in the UK has been of great benefit to vulnerable children there. Reactions have been mixed and some parents are concerned about infiltration of drugs and other problems which boarding schools have. This is one scenario where parenting is removed from the home and placed in the hands of caregivers and /or teachers and there are implications for child development.

The same arguments could be applied to sending problem children to military schools in the USA. Parents often get over this problem by following a behavior modification course which will give them the strategies to deal with problem children without actually having to send them away from home. I knew one parent who wanted the option of a military school for her six-year old son!

Let us look at another problem children scenario. The parents’ influence on a child is enormous and once parents are aware of this, they seek to be good role models for their children. The young child or toddler will model his behavior on yours and that also has implications for the type of person you will look for when looking for as babysitters or people to look after your children. Your behavior when having a difference of opinion with your spouse will also be noted and any violence or aggression on your part will have a negative impact on the child’s development. If you are loving and consistent in all your relationships within the family group and even outside it, this will be a great role model for the child to follow. Statistics speak for themselves as the number of problem children from broken and troubled homes far exceeds those who come from happier and luckier families.

Another problem children scenario is where your problem child who may be defiant or have ADHD, is demanding a lot of your attention and the siblings may feel neglected. Very often the siblings will compensate for this by either being extra good and excelling at school or go to the other extreme where they will act out to get the attention they are missing.
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Whatever problem scenario you have to cope with, a behavior therapy program will work wonders and will help you set up a behavior plan, with rewards and consequences. The strategies you can learn from a program like this will help you get through all the possible scenarios and with problem children and you can begin to relax again.

Unique Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Searching for a truly unique and special way to celebrate your mom on mother’s day this year? Here are some tips for the most special ways to honor this most special person in your life.

Go Big

She’s been there for you through thick and thin, taken care of you for as long as you can remember, so why not celebrate her in a big way? Think about what your mom loves most, and now add a dash of HUGE to the mix. Your clever surprise might involve anything from an oversized mylar balloon bouquet to a massive feast to a one week cruise for her and a companion. Sure, she’ll say “you shouldn’t have” but deep down inside, she’ll be really glad you did!

Make It Personal

Mothers everywhere love when they are appreciated and honored in personal, special ways, from hand made cards and gifts to personalized stationery to memory books and photo keepsakes. What better way to celebrate mom than with a photo montage of her life? Be sure to include baby photos of yourself and your siblings, pictures of dad, her wedding photo, memorable vacations and outings, and family milestones together. Set it to music (her favorite songs, for bonus points) and watch the waterworks begin as she shows her appreciation with emotional impact for all your thoughtfulness. This is a one-way ticket to golden child status!

Gifts that Keep on Giving

Another unique way to give to your mother is with a gift that keeps on giving. After all, the sacrifices she’s made and the gifts of love, wisdom and nurturing support she’s given you will surely last you a lifetime, so why not reciprocate to some degree? Gifts that keep on giving can include: “of the month” clubs (fruit, jelly, flower, etc.), magazine subscriptions, perennial plants, calendars, paid subscriptions (for whatever she wants or needs: DVD rental services, cable, cellular service, etc.) and the like will remind her month after month of your thoughtful consideration.

Quality Time Together

Few things are as priceless to mom as spending time with the people she loves, and what better way to do that than with a rental projector and family movie marathon? Rent a projector for a whole weekend for one low price and celebrate mom with a combination of her favorite classic films, new releases, a film version of her favorite book, and home movies of the family.

Whatever gift you choose, be sure to make this a mother’s day she’ll never forget–she certainly deserves it!

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Pregnant with Twins What to Expect

Being pregnant with twins may come as a shock or a blessing, you may think that you are managing to complete your family in one go. Knowing whether you are carrying more than one baby can only be confirmed in an ultrasound; usually you can see this from six weeks. You may suspect you are carrying twins if you are gaining weight, your uterus appears too large for your due date or you are suffering with severe morning sickness.

It is very common for twins to be conceived, but only one develops, this is called vanishing twin syndrome.

Symptoms

When pregnant with twins, you need to realise that you are carrying two babies inside you so you are more likely to get tired quickly. Ensure you get lots of rest; take naps when you can to keep your energy high.

You are also likely to gain more weight than women who are carrying only one baby. This may make you miserable and feel ugly, but remember this weight can be lost after the pregnancy so dont get too despondent.

Morning sickness tends to be worse when youre carrying twins. This is a result of the pregnancy hormones, you may find that you are vomiting and feeling sick all day long.

What Else You Need To Know

It has been proven that mothers carrying twins are more likely to be depressed after birth, if you feel depressed and it lasts a couple of weeks speak to your doctor or midwife for assistance. Speak to your partner about your concerns and make sure there is someone to help you when you bring the babies home and for a couple of weeks until your routines are set up and running smoothly.

Back pain is another common symptom in women carrying twins, your muscles strain with the additional weight. Resting or a warm bath will relieve the back ache.

Anaemia is also common along with high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. While this may sound scary, your midwife and doctor are used to twin pregnancies and will offer you additional testing and scans during the pregnancy to ensure you and your babies are healthy.

Bear in mind that a lot of twin pregnancies are premature, if you are working its a good idea to start your maternity leave early. You will be exhausted with carrying the additional weight around and if you do have a premature birth, you will be ready for it.

Mother’s Day Gifts for First Time Moms and Grandmothers Alike

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the hard work and dedication of all mothers, whether they are new or seasoned. Every stage of motherhood has its challenges and rewards, and it is up to children and other family members to make sure every mother in the family feels special and appreciated on this once a year holiday. Jewelry gifts or other tokens of appreciation are in order for Mother’s Day and throughout the year.

While it is true that first Mother’s Day gifts will be different than a grandmother Mother’s Day gift, jewelry is usually a safe choice that mothers of all ages will appreciate and adore. Birthstone jewelry that represents each child with his or her corresponding birthstone is a hot item for Mother’s Day and has been for quite some time.

Even first-time moms will enjoy a piece of birthstone jewelry with her baby’s birthstone on it. This is a great way to seal the bond between a mother and her new baby. A birthstone necklace with removable charms is a great gift idea for first time mom because if she ever has any more children, a new birthstone charm can be added to the necklace. Bracelets can work well for the purpose of first Mother’s Day gifts too.

Other jewelry gifts like engraved jewelry and lockets with a picture inside are sentimental and thoughtful gifts that will win the heart of mothers everywhere. These make great grandmother Mother’s Day gift items as well as cherished first Mother’s Day gifts. Make it a special Mother’s Day with a jewelry gift that was prepared just for her.

Shopping for any mom for Mother’s Day is never easy, but buying personalized jewelry is typically an easy way to redeem oneself for any poorly chosen gifts in the past. Mom probably doesn’t want a Chia Pet or socks for Mother’s Day, but it would be a safe bet that she does want jewelry. Get her something she doesn’t have to pretend that she likes.

The best method is to start shopping for Mother’s Day gifts early so that you get the best selection and get this potentially stressful task out of the way. Closer to Mother’s Day, the selection starts running thin and engraved or birthstone jewelry orders may not get processed in time for the big day, so be sure to avoid procrastination. Mom deserves a gift that is on time!