Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)
Please note: the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) is currently being delivered remotely only.
The Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) 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-partner. In some areas it is free to attend – you can contact your local provider for more information.
If you wish to attend SPIP in Wales (where the equivalent is Working Together for Children) you should contact Cafcass Cymru: email@example.com.
Being ordered to attend by the court
Courts have the power, by making a court order, to ‘direct’ parents to attend a programme aimed at promoting safe contact with children.
Cafcass is usually asked to advise the court if it is suitable for you.
You can be ordered to go to a SPIP (there is no charge for Cafcass service user to attend) and/or to a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
MediationMK delivers the SPIP for Cafcass in Northampton in partnership with Relate Coventry and Warwickshire. This programme -also called a course-is available to people who have been ordered by the court to attend and to couples-not going through the court-who are able to pay privately to go on the course.
Those ordered by the court to attend will have the cost of the course paid for but those who pay for themselves will be offered the course at half the set cost.
The four-hour programme is a one-off session delivered to a mixed group of parents. Separated couples will not attend a course together on the same day..
Who is the programme for?
- Parents who are having difficulty focusing on the needs of the children due to on-going conflict
- Parents who find that their feelings and reactions to the separation are affecting their ability to communicate about the children
- Parents who are preparing for mediation
What’s included in the programme?
- The course takes a look at the divorce and separation process and encourages parents to think about solutions to their problems
- The wants and needs of the children
- How to communicate more effectively
- Understanding the effect that divorce and separation can have on your emotions
- Information and advice to help you move forward after separation and divorce
How can I access this programme?
MediationMK believes that any parent who is either thinking they will take court action or have already resorted to it to resolve difficulties over their children, would benefit from this programme. It helps focus the parents minds on the children, on the positive aspects of their relationship with their child so they can help them adjust to the change and feel less anxious. It also helps parents set aside their own feelings and concentrate on their children’s needs. The course gives tips on how parents can manage their own reactions better and to set out a structure in which, although they are apart, they work together for their children.
If you have already made an application to court or you are responding to one, our partner Relate Coventry and MediationMK are keen to have as many parents as possible referred to go on a SPIP course at the first hearing. If your case is already in court you will first need to contact our SPIP partner Relate Coventry. If you live in the Northamptonshire area they will send your referral through to us to arrange for you to attend a course near you. We will get in touch with you to make those arrangements.
Relate Coventry’s contact details are: SPIP@mediationMK.org.uk
If you have not gone to court and live in the Northampton/ Milton Keynes area and would like to go on a course please contact SPIP@mediationMK.org.uk
- Parents who refer themselves to attend a course currently pay £55 each
- Parents can be ordered by the court to attend the SPIP programme
- If you are involved in court proceedings Cafcass is usually asked to advise the court if it is suitable for parents to attend either a SPIP course or mediation
- For couples ordered to attend a course we are required to confirm to Cafcass and the court the parent’s attendance
- We suggest you read the Cafcass Parenting Plan book
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