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Parenting Apart – free support for families whose parents live apart

Families across Scotland can continue to benefit from the insights gained by participating in a Parenting Apart session – for free.  The Scottish Government have recently confirmed that funding to allow these sessions to be developed and offered from Relationships Scotland’s family mediation services will continue for a third year.

Parenting Apart information/education sessions are for parents who are going through the process of separation or divorce, or are in dispute over contact arrangements.  They help parents to understand about the process of separation and divorce, what their children need from them when they are living apart and how to work together and put their children’s needs first.  They are a one off session of three hours run on a group or one to one basis.  Ex-partners attend different sessions.  More information about the sessions, answers to frequently asked questions, a short film and resources for parents can be accessed at: www.parentingapart.org.uk.

Evidence from an independent review of Parenting Apart, conducted by SMCI Associates, shows that Parenting Apart is good for children and families.  The percentage of parents satisfied with the current parenting arrangements for their children rose from 15% before attending Parenting Apart to 41% three months after.

Over 700 parents have participated in Parenting Apart since the sessions were made available across Scotland in 2015.  The sessions are delivered by specifically trained Parenting Apart facilitators who come from mediation, counselling and family support worker backgrounds.  They offer a wealth of experience, skills and perspectives to parents who participate.  By offering these sessions within Relationships Scotland Member Services parents are able to find out about and access other services and further support.  One of the findings from the sessions is that parents who attend move on from using child contact centres more quickly.

The feedback from parents is overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.  For example:

‘It was good learning how kids deal with situations instead of just presuming they don’t have emotions.’

 ‘I have come away with a better understanding of how to deal with situations between my ex and I and also situations I may find myself in with children.’

One parent said this at the follow up review stage 3 to 6 months after participating:

‘It was very helpful to come to the session and hear about other people’s experiences. The materials helped, both the pack for parents and the one for children, which my son read and really took on board, to the degree that he would not allow any negative mentions of the other parent.’

For more information contact: Rosanne Cubitt ,Head of Professional Practice

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