Cafcass says parenting classes help warring parents to put their children first

27/09/2010 14:28


Cafcass says parenting classes help warring parents to put their children first

Separated Parents Information Programmes keep families out of the courts, say Cafcass

Following the criticism by Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, of the damage caused by separating parents to their children through their ongoing contact and residence disputes, Cafcass has drawn attention to the assistance offered by court-ordered Separated Parents Information Programmes (PIPs). 

Anthony Douglas, Cafcass Chief Executive said:

"For many parents the pain of separation or divorce makes it impossible for them to put aside their differences and think about what's best for their children. What these programmes do is make parents more aware of the upset they may be causing their children, often without realising it. The programmes provide practical ways of making post-separation parenting joint, and constructively shared.

"These programmes are an important part of our approach to keeping families out of the courts, and to a child-focused relationship breakdown service."
Where it is safe to do so and it is likely that parents and children will benefit, the family courts are increasingly ordering that parents attend the programmes following recommendations from Cafcass workers. In a Cafcass survey carried out earlier in the year on the PIPs, 59% of respondents said that attending the programme had changed their behaviour or that of their ex-partner in a variety of ways including listening more to their children and jointly attempting to avoid conflict and confrontations in front of their children.