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Family Works is now working with lower North Island parents to ensure separation is as stress free as possible for their children.
Parenting through Separation is a free information programme, funded by the Ministry of Justice, which helps parents work out what’s best for their children when parents are separating.
The programme has been developed by professionals who specialise in helping families through separation, and is delivered by experienced facilitators from Family Works and Community Law.
Family Works general manager Julia Hennessy says the programme is focused on providing practical advice and information to keep things as stress-free as possible for the children.
“We cover things such as how separation affects children and what parents can do for their children during this time, how to talk to children about separation and ways for separating parents to discuss their children and make parenting plans,” says Julia.
“All of this information helps parents or carers work out what parenting arrangements will work if or when they separate.”
She explains the partnership between Family Works and Community Law offers a unique aspect to the programme.
“We’re really excited about the partnership. Having social service professionals from Family Works working alongside legal professionals from Community Law to deliver the programme really adds to the knowledge and information being provided.”
The Parenting through Separation programme compliments the Ministry of Justice’s Family Dispute Resolution service – a mediation service designed to help parents and carers settle disputes over child care arrangements outside of court.
But Julia says parents don’t need to be involved in a dispute or accessing the FDR service to be eligible for the Parenting through Separation programme.
“The earlier in your separation you can get to a programme the better for you and your children,” says Julia.
“Parents and guardians can attend the programme whether they’re just separating or if they have been separated for some time – it’s all about making things better for the children.”
Click here for more information about Parenting through Separation, including the upcoming programmes.