The Parents Promise for Separating Parents
We are proud to be involved with The Parents Promise! Thank you to Jo Edwards for inviting children/family law specialist Daniel Coombes of FLiP to last Monday’s discussion on how to effect real change to promote the most positive experience possible for children during parental separation.
The aim of The Parents Promise is to create a genuinely child-focussed society and better systems to ensure the long-term wellbeing of children when parents separate through:
- Cultural change.
- Systems change – within government, businesses and other organisations.
- The development of data driven solutions.
You can find out more about their call for change, and you can add your name or organisation to the list calling for changes to create a more compassionate society and systems here.
Why this is so important? Every year, hundreds of thousands of children experience family separation and we know from data collected by Fegans that family breakdown is the primary reason for children being referred to counselling (Fegans 2020). It must be the case that if parents are able to separate amicably and well, putting the needs and welfare of their children first, that the experience for those children must be better.
The Parents Promise echoes the important work of the Family Solutions Group in their influential campaigns: Taking the Fight out of Family Separation; Language Matters; A Child’s Right to Matter. FLiP was a proud sponsor of these campaigns too.
One of the changes identified during Monday’s discussions was a call for reflective practice for family lawyers and barristers, with all teams discussing at the end of challenging children cases, what went well; what didn’t go so well; and how things could be done differently next time. As the Family Solutions Group said back in November 2020; “Those to whom the separating parents turn have a vital role to play in understanding the family needs and ensuring they access the right support.”
In response to this, the Institute of Family Therapy and FLiP Faculty developed ReFLEx Training, a series of CPD video-learning resources designed to help family law professionals take a more holistic approach to acting for their clients by reflecting on the broader emotional and psychological issues at play. This in turn can drive real change in the way in which family cases are progressed by the professionals leading to better outcomes for the families concerned. Further information about these valuable courses can be found here.
Going through a divorce or separation is so much more than just a legal process. At the heart of FLiP is a commitment to thinking about how divorce and separation affects our clients and their families both the during divorce and separation, and in the years to follow. It’s our job to make that transition as positive as possible.
We look forward to being part of the Parents Promise in its call for change to make a real difference to the lives of the children of separated parents.