Changes to Separated Parents Information Programme

Posted: 05 April 2023

The Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) ceased from 29 March 2023, following the programme being subject to a research and evidence review. This led to a redesigned model which was more focussed on the child, contained updated content, and was more accessible.

What’s new?

Replacing SPIP will be a new course called Planning Together for Children, which commenced on 3 April 2023. This is a three-part course which will help co-parenting adults to focus on putting the children first. Planning Together for Children may be Court-Ordered, or it may be recommended by a Cafcass Family Court Advisor.

Separated Parents Information Programme

What’s involved?

The course involves self-directed e-learning, which takes up to two hours, and a group workshop, which takes two-and-a-half hours. Group sessions will be small, with a maximum of six parents or carers per group, and will be offered at various times throughout the day, evening and weekends. This ensures that parents can participate in a way that best suits them. E-learning can be done on any device such as a tablet, smartphone, or computer.

Themes covered

The course will examine parental separation and the emotions involved, as well as the impact of parental conflict on children. It will also consider what happens if parents were to go to court, and what their next steps will be moving forward. Parents will evaluate how best to manage conflict and improve communication, including putting themselves in their child’s shoes. Children should have access to both parents as long as it is safe to do so and will thrive if there is low conflict between their parents.

Online parenting plan

Parents will also be encouraged, alongside the above, to create a new online parenting plan. This is a written document that details what arrangements and agreements have been made for the children. This will include things like how often the children spend time with each parent and how birthdays, holidays, and special occasions will be spent. It can include big decisions such as educational and health decisions, and even smaller decisions about pocket money and pets. Both parents should work together to put the children’s best interests, wishes, and feelings first when creating this document.

Next steps

It is hoped that Planning Together for Children will help parents become more amicable when managing arrangements for their children. However, if you are interested in a confidential chat with one of our family law solicitors regarding how they can support you with your children’s matters, or you would like further information on the services we offer, please call 01245 493959 or send an email.

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