Separation or divorce involving children can be difficult to navigate. Conflict can have a detrimental effect on children of divorce or separation. This is where the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) can help.
CAFCASS ran the former Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) which was decommissioned on 31st March 2023. Planning Together for Children is a new course for separating parents, which replaced SPIP on 3rd April 2023.
Cafcass have developed the course on behalf of the Ministry of Justice with the input of children and families and other key partners.
Planning Together for Children combines e-learning, group work and online support for parents involved in private law family Court proceedings. It encourages them to consider how they can communicate and work together to agree parenting arrangements without the need for more Court hearings and to understand how conflict can worry their children and impact on their wellbeing and development.
Unlike SPIP, which was a one-off four-hour course, there are three stages to the hybrid model of Planning Together for Children:
- a set of self-directed e-learning modules that focus on topics such as what happens if parents go to Court, understanding and managing emotion, and looking at things from a child’s point of view.
- a group workshop where parents will be encouraged to discuss, think about and extend their learning from the e-learning modules; and
- a supplementary online parenting plan to help parents to make agreements about important parts of their co-parenting relationship and the arrangements for their children, where this is safe for the children and adults. Parents will be encouraged to share an understandable version of the plan with their child/ren.
Planning Together for Children can be either Court ordered, or a referral can be made by a Cafcass Family Court Advisor.
Please check the Cafcass website for more information, including access to the new parenting plan and a factsheet for parents Help in Planning Together for Children | Cafcass
If you require specialist family law advice around divorce, separation and the child law issues flowing from this contact Maguire Family Law.
For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: email@example.com or telephone: