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Friday
Nov032017

Funding support to extend group work

Two recent successful funding applications and a well supported general appeal have strengthened the position of FNF Scotland and enable us to extend our work.

We already have a link with the Robertson Trust through renting a desk in their Glasgow building, and we are now very grateful to receive a award of £30,000 over the next three yars towards our "Dads Moving Forward" project.  This will develop additional support for the people attending our monthly group meetings to help them build self confidence, improve negotiation and communication skills and reinforce their parenting knowledge.  One new aspect of this work will be courses run by Steve Sweeney of Barnardos Rollercoaster Project to help FNFS volunteers to understand trauma and grief, develop action pans and then cascade this knowledge to other in local groups.

We have also been granted £4,500 by the Corra Foundation to establish a new monthly group in Dundee to support fathers and other people facing problems in getting contact with their children.  We have wanted to start a group in Dundee for a long time, but have had to wait until additional funding was available.  Group meetings will start in January 2018 and we already have two offers from family lawyers willing to attend the meetings.  Contact Alastair Williamson to register interest in the Dundee group.

We also wish to thank all the individuals who have contributed to our recent funding appeal.  It's good to know that people who have used our information and support services are happy to donate so that we can help others and deal with the increasing demand.  The appeal is still running - use this link to donate.

Friday
Nov032017

2017 Families Need Fathers Scotland AGM 

The FNFS AGM is in Edinburgh this year on Thursday 23rd November. It will be held in the Carlow Room at 10 Palmerston Place from 7-9pm, with tea and coffee from 6.30.  The first part of the evening will be reports on the activity and finances for the past year plus election of trustees.  Anyone interested in becoming a trustee should contact Ian Maxwell by 17th November

Following the AGM business there will be talk about contact centres by Kathleen Frew of Family Mediation Central and Margaret Ashman from Helensburgh Contact Centre. FNF Scotland is now working on a contact centre user guide and these talks plus the following discussion will help us explore how people use the centres and the benefits and issues for contact centre users.

Anyone can attend our AGM, but please let us know you are coming by booking a place here.

Friday
Oct272017

Running for FNF Scotland

We are delighted that we have three volunteer runners taking part in this year’s Edinburgh Men’s 10k on Sunday 5th November.

Martin Johnstone, Gavin Watson and Martyn O’Neill will be wearing the chic FNF Scotland running vests. Martin, Gavin and Martyn, all engineers working in different industries, will be running to raise funds for FNF Scotland’s work supporting parents facing problems arranging meaningful time with their children following separation.

Information about the Men’s 10K event is here: www.mens10k.com/edinburgh

 If you would like to sponsor Martin, Martyn and Gavin for their efforts, you can register your donation on our Golden Giving page at:http://gldn.gg/f/2017edinburghmens10k If you are a UK tax payer, donating through Golden Giving will increase the value of your donation by 20%.

 If you would like some paper versions of the sponsorship form email : ian.maxwell@fnfscotland.org.

Thanks!

Monday
Aug282017

Tribunal clarifies how shared care is decided in maintenance disputes

A recent Upper-tier Tribunal decision has clarified the position in child maintenance cases where both parents have equal amounts of child care.

The father in this case had been assessed by the Child Maintenance Service to pay weekly maintenance  because he cared for his child for 175 mights or more, even although there was an agreement that care should shared equally. The First Tier Tribunal agreed with this and also decided that because there were a number of nights when the child was in the father's care but did not stay at the father's address, this reduced his care to 172 nights, which meant it fell below the 175 nights threshold that would have halfed the maintenance liability.

The Upper Tribunal ruled that both aspects of this decision were wrong. The First Tier Tribunal had became unduly preoccupied with care proveded "overnight" as opposed to the "sharing of day-to-day care". In doing this it had failed to apply regulation 50 of the 2012 regulations, which sets the parameters for determining whether a parent is considered to be sharing care or is deemed to be non-resident and therefore liable to pay maintenance. 

Although regulations 46 and 47 relate to calculating the number of overnights in cases where care is not shared, the Upper Tribunal ruled that they should only be applied if the parent is being considered as non-resident under regulation 50.  In this case the agreement or court order for shared care meant that overnights didn't need to be calculated. Overnight care is not a trump card but is one factor to beconsidered along with others.

The Tribunal judge also commented that for overnight care to count it is a requirement that the child stays at the same address as the non-resident parent, but that need not be restricted to that parent's usual address.

Saturday
Aug262017

Crowdfunder appeal for Guide to Contact Centres

FNF Scotland has launched a crowdfunding appeal to allow us to compile a complete ‘user guide’ to the services, facilities, rules and costs of Scotland’s contact centres. The donations page is at:  

Contact centres play an important role as stepping stones in restoring the relationship between children and a separated parent.

Despite their crucial importance to hundreds of families each year - sheriffs in the family courts will specify that a certain number of contact centre sessions should take place before the case comes back to court - the centres are run by several different organisations with different rules about issues that are important to the parents who use them. Some ban the taking of photographs of your children, others will take them for you.

There is also often confusion among parents about whether the centre staff will be making a report about how the contact goes (supervised contact) or simply providing a space for the contact (supported contact) or just facilitating the ‘handover’ for agreed or court ordered contact. Sometimes the centre represents a safe space for the child to have contact with a non-resident parent or for a mother to do the ‘handover’. Sometimes it is a safe place for the non-resident father to see his children without risk of being ambushed by a hostile mother or other family members.

FNF Scotland national manager, Ian Maxwell, says, "We are looking for funding to compile a complete ‘user guide’ to the services, facilities, rules and costs of Scotland’s contact centres. We are launching a separate appeal due to the number of questions that are coming up at our monthly meetings or in phone contacts.

In recent years we have published a number of free ‘user guides’, providing legal and practical information on important subjects that affect separated families such as Child Welfare Reporters and rights to information from schools. These reports are all freely downloadable from our website at www.fnfscotland.org.uk.

Our experience is that more and better information reduces conflict and improves relationships between individuals and the organisations and agencies they are likely to encounter and increases the chances they will work better together."

Please support the appeal at