We are delighted that the Scottish Government has recently given us funding so that we can offer information sessions across Scotland for parents who live apart – maybe because they are separated or divorced, or maybe because they have never lived together with their child’s other parent. Parenting Apart sessions cover what you need to know to be able to help your children. Lots of youngsters find themselves caught up in the changes that their family are going through, but there are better and worse ways of sorting it all out. The sessions are run by experienced family specialists and there are lots of tips and ideas for making ‘parenting when living apart’ work. The sessions are often run as groups of mums and dads meeting together, so you can hear how it is for other people, and they can be offered on a one to one basis. The sessions generally last for about 3 hours – or 2 meetings of about an hour and a half. Ex-partners generally choose to go along to different sessions. We have Parenting Apart sessions available across Scotland.
Parenting Apart sessions across Scotland are new, but parents getting information on how to manage the change to living apart is not new. Our materials have been developed from the latest research and from finding out what other people and countries have discovered works well. You might have heard of the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) in England and WT4C (Working Together 4 Children) in Wales. Courts and solicitors might encourage you to come along to Parenting Apart to find out how to make arrangements that are in your children’s best interests.
Most people – men and women, parents who have the children living with them and parents who would like to spend more time with their children – find the sessions really helpful and would recommend them to others. One parent said ‘It’s helped me listen to my child and communicate more with my ex-partner’ and another said ‘I now put my children first and calm down when communicating with my ex’. Most people would agree that the session ‘Helped me think about my kids’.
We would like to acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government, through a Strategic Funding Partnership Grant, that has made this service possible across Scotland. Come along and let us know what you think and how we can make Parenting Apart even better.