Every year, 280,000 children see their parents separate. That is just slightly more than the total population of Milton Keynes! How these separations are handled will affect the rest of these children’s lives.
A report published today by the Family Solutions Group calls for a radical change in how parents separate in the UK to better protect children. At Dad.info we know first hand the pain conflicted separation and divorce can cause, every day new members visit our forum and share their heartfelt concerns about the impact their separation is having on their children and on themselves. This report is long overdue, says Ian Soars, CEO of Dad.info, “We whole-heartedly welcome this report from the Family Solutions Group which puts children first and sets out a clear case for giving parents the motivation, confidence and tools to resolve conflicts outside of court and to co-parent effectively as a unit together”.
What about me?
The report, ‘What About Me?’ warns that parental conflict causes psychological harm to children, impacting their long-term mental health and future life chances. Our forum is full of parents struggling to navigate the legal system and access support to resolve conflicts with their ex-partners, in particular regarding access arrangements for their children. One forum user recently posted: “Be reminded your kids are in the middle and you have to punch or kick through them each time to hurt your ex.”
DAD.info recently carried out a survey of over 1,000 separated parents. It found that third of parents applied to the family courts to make childcare arrangements during their separation. This is something which the Family Solutions Group wants to see replaced with a “solutions approach” outside of court (where it is safe to do so) which “gathers round the family and contains the fallout.” Family Mediator at Wells Family Mediation, Helen Adam, says: “The transition which parents make from being together to living apart is a vulnerable time for all. It takes great courage to move on from the turmoil of relationship breakdown and choose to cooperate with the other parent. Dad.info alongside Fegans is fully in agreement with the recommendations made in the report which promote children’s welfare and a cooperative parenting approach.
Free Parenting Course
The publication of “What about me?” coincides with the launch of a free online course on co-parenting after separation. Developed by Fegans, the course includes on-demand lessons through animations and videos from parenting coaches, downloadable support materials and access to a private Facebook group to receive ongoing support from other parents who have been on a similar journey. Parents sign up online and receive links to a new lesson each week for 10 weeks.
If you are in the middle of a separation and want support to move forward then come and chat in the forum.