Separated Parents Information Programme- What is it and do I have to attend?
The Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) is a course which helps you understand how to put your children first whilst you are separating, even though you may be in dispute with your child’s other parent. The programme is designed to help separated parents, or those who have responsibility for children, to better understand and respond differently to conflict and communication.
In the vast majority of family cases where the Family Court is asked to make decisions regarding arrangements for a child/children because the parents cannot agree, the Court will direct both parties to attend a SPIP.
Under the Children Act 1989 the Court have the power to direct parents to attend a SPIP as an ‘activity direction’ to help establish, maintain or improve their involvement in the life of their child/children.
The SPIP is not a parenting course. The programme encourages separated parents to behave in the best interests of their children and to become clearer about what their children need most from them. It challenges parents to consider the emotional effect of separation and some positive options for moving forward. SPIP considers the impact of conflict upon the children. It explores parent communication and how to react appropriately when under stress.
Parents may be ordered to attend a SPIP by the Court. If the Court directs such attendance then it is free of charge.
SPIP is delivered by a number of providers across the country and are listed at www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/directory-of-providers.
Wigan SPIPs approved provider is Action for Children. As well as receiving referrals via Cafcass and the Courts, Action for Children also provide this programme to private clients.
Parents do not attend the programme on the same day as their ex-partner, although both parents will be required to attend a programme. The programme is usually 4 hours long and there are typically between 4-8 parents in any one session.
If you are directed to attend a SPIP by the Court, then you must do so. The course provider will notify the Court of your attendance.
Although parents are often reluctant to attend a SPIP, the feedback is very positive and has helped many parents to establish positive contact with their children.
If you have a disagreement with your former partner regarding your children why not give RJT Solicitors a call for further advice.