Separated Parents Information Programme

(SPIP)

‘The Separated Parents Information Programme is a course which helps you understand how to put your children first while you are separating, even though you may be in dispute with your child’s other parent. The course helps parents learn the fundamental principles of how to manage conflict and difficulties. You will not attend the same session as your ex’.

Who can attend the SPIP course?

It is important to note that it is mandatory for parents to participate if they have been given an order / direction by the Judge to attend. Parents who have applied to the courts for child issues in separation might be ordered / directed by the court to attend a SPIP course. Parents will not attend the course together. This will enable parents to speak freely about their situation.

What does the course cover?

The theme which runs throughout the SPIP is to focus separated parents to work together better in the best interests of their children. The aim is to support parents to find better ways of communicating without conflict, thereby supporting their children who are suffering as a result of the conflict caused by parental separation.

The course looks at how you can improve the situation for your children as independent people co-parenting your children, taking personal responsibility for your own actions and words now and in the future. It can support you to find ways to come to your own agreements outside the court system.

The SPIP programme is designed to support attending parents with information on:

• The separation process

• How it can affect them and their children

• How to change things for the better

• The challenges of post-separation parenting

• How children can be best supported

• Enabling parents to take steps towards their own solutions

• Family mediation and how this process will assist to agree / negotiate their split8

It may also be appropriate:

• Where parents have lost sight of their children’s needs due to ongoing conflict

• Where ongoing conflict has affected parents’ ability to communicate

• When one or both parents are lost in their own reactions to their separation and are unable to move beyond this

 

As a preparation for family mediation Why will it be helpful to me?

SPIP will be provided with information which will help you to consider where you are in your own ‘separation journey’. You will see a powerful video made by young people which dramatises the effect of parental conflict on children.

This raises key issues for discussion and the opportunity to consider the needs of children in separating families and identify problems specific to your own situation. Time is spent looking at ways of improving communication with children and the other parent.

Finally, there is an opportunity to consider the emotional aspects of separation and loss. You will have the chance to consider how you can move forward and identify sources of support, including family mediation.

The SPIP is helpful because it encourages both parents to see things from the child’s perspective, to listen and reflect, and to communicate and manage conflict more effectively.

More information

SPIP is delivered as a 4 hour programme (either delivered in one, four hour session or two, two hour sessions).