FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is taking steps to make it easier for children to maintain relationships with their grandparents and other family members.

The proposed amendments to the Family Services Act will emphasize that continuing and fostering healthy relationships with grandparents or other family members is in the best interests of the child when dealing with private access.

“We are proud to fulfill our platform commitment and help seniors have greater access to their grandchildren,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris. “There is nothing more important than the well-being of a child, and it is important to us that children’s relationships with their family members be preserved whenever possible.”

The proposed amendments to the act would require the courts, when considering whether to grant an order for access, to also consider the willingness of the parent or guardian to facilitate the access with the grandparents or other immediate family members and the necessity of the order.

“This is a wonderful development for both children and their grandparents,” said Child and Youth Advocate Norman Bosse. “Ensuring children can remain in their family environment is best for their well-being. We see this is as a positive move by the government and we support this amendment.”