Separated Parents Information Programmes (SPIPS)
The Programme encourages parents to take steps for themselves, away from court, and can help make sure that any agreement made is based on the child’s needs. It aims to help both parents improve communication skills as separated parents.
The programme consists of two sessions, each lasting two hours, or one four-hour session. Parents need to be there for the whole programme to benefit fully from the content.
Separated couples do not go on the same course, but it is important that both parents go on a programme. A SPIP might be helpful for parents (or other parties) when:
- you have difficulty focusing on your children’s need due to ongoing conflict
- you find that your feelings and reactions to the separation are affecting your ability to communicate about your children
- you would like communication to improve
Observations & Thoughts from an attendee...
- Children can cope with divorce/separation, but not with conflict
- You are a parent for the rest of your life
- Try to refer to our son/daughter not my
- Your lives will ‘move on’ eventually, even if it doesn’t feel like it now
- Nobody going through the separation experience ever expected to do so
- Only 4% of separated parents go through the court for child contact
- Where are you on the ‘Loss Cycle’ – Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Sleeping Better, Acceptance?
- If it’s hard for you, think how hard it is for your child/children
- If you get it right, your child will thrive
- Children don’t say that they are sad/worried/frightened – you, the parent, have to read between the lines and constantly reassure
- Honesty with the children is very important. They need to know what is going on but not every detail. Acknowledge and answer your children’s questions, but do not mislead
- Children have a right to see/know their parents, not the other way round
- Who was/is your parenting role model and why?
- If conflict is ongoing in the children’s lives there may be an event in the future where one, or even both, of the parents will be excluded – graduation, wedding, birthday parties, Christmases etc. Who will it be – one, both or neither?
- When the children are older they may well vote with their feet, and will instinctively know which of you did their best for them
- If you can’t decide how to arrange contact the court will decide
- Write down ONE thing that you are going to do differently in order to move the process along more smoothly
The cost of attending a SPIP is £150 per person inclusive. This will include discussion about your needs in advance of the sessions, and help with finding the next steps following programme attendance.
For further information on our SPIPs programmes please contact Dawn Jenkins
Separated Parents Information Programme
Help that focusses on your child’s needs, and improves your communication
Separation, communication, parenting, divorce.
Formerly Relate North Essex & East Herts
The Change Project is based in Chelmsford and offers its Counselling Services and Separated Parents Information Programme in Essex and Hertfordshire. Behavioural Change and Partner Services are available in Essex, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire.