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Separation and services

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

The Tavistock institution aimed to explore ways in which mainstream services support a meaningful relationship with both their parents. They particularly focused on low-income families and how services support non-resident parents to maintain regular and meaningful contact with their children.

The overall aim of the research was to develop an understanding of how the needs of children in low-income separated families might best be met, and in particular to shed light on how services could facilitate the role of non-resident parents in meeting those needs.
The study had the following objectives:

  • To describe the needs of children aged between seven and 16 in different types of separated families, as seen by children, parents and service providers;
  • To describe the needs of non-resident parents and resident parents in separated families, as seen by parents themselves and by service providers;
  • To provide a picture of the services available to non-resident parents to facilitate their involvement with children;
  • To explore how far these services meet their needs, from the perception of children, the non-resident parents, resident parents and service providers;
  • To make recommendations for ways in which policy and practice can better meet the needs of non-resident parents and their children.

After all research had taken place, their were specific findings that had been concluded:

Key findings showed that children in this sample typically had the closest relationship with their resident parent but, for the majority, contact with their non-resident parent was also extremely important and enjoyable. Most importantly for children, contact needed to be an evolving process, changing as they grew older and/or as their, or their non-resident parent?s, circumstances altered. Having a non-resident parent who lived nearby was seen as an ideal solution. Conversely they described poor relations between their parents leading to periods of not seeing the non-resident parent and/or feeling caught between the competing demands of parents. Most children felt that there was inadequate support for them in such circumstances.

Both sets of parents said they needed more general support. Mothers favoured informal support groups while fathers, if they accessed support at all, opted for the more remote telephone help-lines. On the whole, however, neither set of parents knew where to go for either practical or emotional help and advice. They both reported feeling isolated and this caused or contributed to poor mental health. Parents were generally in agreement that services for separating families were not well enough advertised.

With the Government’s emphasis on shared parenting, a charity like Kids Need Both Parents is one that is much needed. We want to prevent isolation and provide a service that separated families can benefit from.

If you are in need of support, please contact 01675430125 or email info@knbp.co.uk

Source: Tavistock

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