Are you a parent who’s split from your partner? Maybe you’re struggling to agree on certain things about your child. Arranging things such as where they live, maintenance and child contact can often be tricky!
If this is a problem you face, there’s plenty of help available. Here are 5 places where you’ll find plenty of information for separated parents:
1. Families Need Fathers
Families Need Fathers (FNF) is a social care organisation that’s been operating since 1974. They provide information and support services for families who’ve experienced parental separation. They focus on supporting children’s relationships with both parents during and after family breakdown.
They currently have more than 50 branches across the UK, so it’s likely that there’s one near you. They carry the HSSF Quality Mark. That’s a government accreditation scheme for organisations that offer help to separated families.
Families Need Fathers also run training courses and workshops for both members and non-members. They lobby Parliament, hold local self-help meetings and take part in forums and seminars.
If you want to talk with one of their team about an issue you face, you can contact their National Helpline 7 days a week.
Cafcass was set up on 1st April 2001 under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act. They are independent of the courts, but represent children in family court cases. They provide a lot of information that could be helpful if you’re a separated parent.
Cafcass state that their role is to:
- safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- give advice to the family courts
- make provision for children to be represented
- provide information, advice and support to children and their families
They produce leaflets and videos for both children and separated parents. They also make informative videos highlighting the work they do with families.
If you’re in dispute with your ex-partner, you might find the Separated Parents Information Programme helpful. It’s a course that explains how to put your children first while you are separating.
Gingerbread is a well-established charity that’s been around for over 95 years. They provide advice and support for single parents. They listen to what single parents are saying and try to make sure policy makers hear their views.
They state that their vision is of “a society in which single parent families are valued and where they (and their children) are treated equally and fairly”.
The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline provides support and advice about family related topics. They also have an impressive A to Z of Factsheets about issues like money, work and family.
Gingerbread’s forum provides somewhere that you can discuss family issues with other single parents. If you can’t find the information you need, you could try their ‘Ask an Adviser’ advice sessions. You can submit your questions about issues that affect single parents to a team of experts.
Netmums started in 2000 and is one of the UK’s fastest-growing online parenting organisations. You’ll find that they provide a large amount of parenting advice and information.
Netmums have a family of local sites across the UK and can boast more than 1.7 million members. Each local website is maintained by a local mum with support from their central team.
While their focus is on mums, the information they provide is valuable for all family members. If you’re a dad, don’t be put off by the name, because dads are welcome too!
Their website has a forum which they call Cofeehouse. Here you can chat with other mums (or dads) about anything to do with being a parent.
They also have the Netmums Parent Supporters. This is a trained team of parents who provide information and support on a daily basis. Experts from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau add further professional help and support.
5. Family Lives
Family Lives was first registered as a charity in 1999. At that time they operated under the name of Parentline Plus. Their original set was in response to the tragic child abuse case of Maria Colwell in 1973.
Family Lives are a charity who help families with any problem or challenge that they face. They provide a helpline, advice website and parenting/relationship support groups. They also have forums where you can discuss issues about a wide range of family matters.
They run Parenting UK, a national membership organisation for those working with parents. They also train professionals and campaign for changes to improve and support family life.
If you want support or advice about a family matter, You can talk to one of their Family Support Workers. Just call their confidential helpline. They carry the HSSF Quality Mark for their work with parents and families.
More Sources of Information
There are plenty of other good resources for separated parents, but these are 5 of the best. In fact, each of them will help you find more good sources of advice, support and information.
If you’ve used any of these sites, let us know what you think about them or tell us how they have helped you. We’d love to hear from you.