Separated Parents Information Programme

When family relationships break down, the Court sometimes requires parents to attend a Separated Parents Information Programme (or SPIP).

TV Edwards delivers the programme in Central, East, North and South London.

What is a Separated Parents Information Programme?

It is a course designed to help people learn more about what children need when their parents separate. It’s not like a standard parenting course. Instead, ideas are offered that can help reduce conflict and improve communication, and the programme can help prepare families for mediation. 

Who is it for? 

The programme is for family members who are in conflict over child contact and have been ordered or directed to attend by the Court. It is usually for parents, but it can also be helpful for grandparents or other family members.

Why have I been sent?

The Court has decided that it is in the best interests of children that parents are given advice and support about how to reduce the effects of conflict on their children.

Do I have to attend?

Yes. If you have been ordered or directed by the Court to attend and you don’t, you will be in breach of a court order and could be held in contempt of court. The course provider is obliged to inform the court of anyone who fails to attend.

Will my ex-partner have to attend?

In most cases both parents are required to attend because that’s best for the children.  You don’t need to attend at the same time as your ex-partner.

How long is the programme and who will be on it?

The programme is delivered in one four-hour session or in in two, two-hour sessions in consecutive weeks. It usually delivered to a group of up to twelve parents. You must attend the whole programme.

What is it about?

  • The separation and divorce process – you can think about your current situation and what the options are for the future.
  • What children need – you will watch a powerful DVD made by young people about how children respond to separation and divorce.
  • Parent communication – You will be given tips and ideas about how to improve communication.
  • Emotions – you will be able to look at the emotional impact of separation and divorce and explore ways of finding help and support if you need it. You will also think about your options for moving forward.

Will I have to pay?

No, the course is free of charge.

What do I do next?

Cafcass (the independent advisory and support service) or the Court will refer you to us. We will then contact you directly with some dates and we’ll book you onto the programme. 

What happens afterwards?

The trainer will report back to the Cafcass to confirm that you attended. Unless an adult or a child is at risk of harm, the trainer will not make an assessment of your responses to issues discussed during the programme. 

You will be asked to complete an evaluation form which will be fed back to Cafcass or the Court.

The trainer will be happy to talk to you about family mediation. You will also be able to make an appointment to discuss things with a mediator at a mediation information meeting.

During the SPIP you will be introduced to a website: www.theparentconnection.org.uk. There you’ll find useful information and scenarios to help you practise some of the skills that you will have learnt.

Parents who attended the programme said….

“I was hesitant to come to this course – but I am now glad that I did. I feel I have learned and become more aware of skills to use to deal with conflict.”

“It helps people to think about what the future holds for them other than living in a situation of conflict, it really helped me.”

“I have found today enjoyable and it has opened up many thoughts on how children are affected by separation.”

“It was good to talk to others and understand how people react and cope with different situations.”

“I am sorry that I didn’t attend this course much earlier. Thank you.”

To find out more, contact us at mediation@tvedwards.com

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