Separated Parents’ Information Programme


Connect is an approved provider of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP). We work in partnership with CAFCASS.

In the main, people accept that parental conflict during separation is not healthy for the children. However during these times, parents often struggle to manage their own feelings, and children inevitably suffer. In an attempt to support separating parents and ensure that the child’s needs and rights are respected; Courts may now order the parent to attend a Parenting Information Programme (SPIP).

A SPIP is a contact activity ordered by the Court for a parent or parents involved in divorce and separation proceedings. The intention is to encourage parents to consider the perspective of their child/children and how their actions might impact on the children’s long-term welfare. Essentially, the SPIP aims at establishing positive contact between the child and his or her parent at the same time as reducing the level of conflict within the parental relationship.

The SPIP programme is facilitated over two weekly sessions each of a two-hour duration. Group or individual sessions are available. The sessions are based at Connect’s offices in Wellington or Wolverhampton. Parents are encouraged to visit the centre prior to the first session and meet the workers. We offer sessions at varying times of the day in an attempt to accommodate personal commitments. From April 2010, participants will not be expected to fund the SPIP course.

Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)

The SPIP is designed to help parents understand the impact of ongoing parental conflict on their children and to provide advice and support about how to reduce it.

The course aims to encourage and enable parents to make their own decisions and solutions in line with the best interests of their children

The SPIP is delivered over two sessions of two hours. Parents must complete the four hours.

Parents do not attend the same sessions although it is usual for both parents to be ordered to attend a SPIP.

The course is ordered by the Court and is mandatory.


A SPIP may be appropriate when:

Parents have lost sight of their child’s needs because of a high level of conflict.

Where the parent’s own feelings prevent them from communicating with their child.

As a preparation for mediation.

Where there are no safeguarding issues.

Content of The Course

Dynamics of the Divorce and Separation Process:

Children’s Needs and Rights:

Constructive Communication:

Emotions & Feelings:

Evaluation & Feedback

Connect will inform the Court of details of the parent’s attendance. With the exception of safeguarding issues, Connect cannot offer any specific feedback to the Court or lawyer. Connect will ask the parent to complete an evaluation form on the service.

Costs

The programme is free to users.

Participation in a Contact Activity.

As part of the government’s contact activities, courts can order that parents attend a SPIP. All contact activities are aimed at promoting safe and quality contact between parents and children. Contact activities include: Mediation Information Meeting; Domestic Violence Perpetrator Course; Parenting Information Programme. Cafcass is usually involved in the referral process.