If you find this site useful, please donate to support our work

Get our latest news by email:


Looking for something?


Entries in events (3)


Parenting Coordination: an opportunity for Scotland?

Families Need Fathers Scotland suggested a Scottish trial of Parenting Coordination in our response to the recent Scottish Government Family Law Consultation. 
We are holding an event for mediators, lawyers and other family support professionals in Edinburgh on 15th January at which Felicity Shedden from Family Law In Partnership will describe how they developed a model from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and have been running training courses in England.  For further details and to book see here.
Parenting Coordination is an innovative child-centred intervention to support and guide parents in implementing their parenting agreements or court orders in medium and high-conflict cases.

The work involves skills from family law, mediation, mental health, parenting education, social work and child protection fields. Practitioners could come from any of these professions providing they have also trained in necessary components of the other skills.

During the current consideration of changes in family law and court procedure in Scotland, there is an opportunity to introduce concepts such as Parenting Coordination, which is now well- established in the United States, Canada and parts of South Africa. 

It could unify work currently carried out by a range of professionals and free the courts from some of the ongoing micro-management once an order has been made.  Parents and their children can benefit having immediately available support without returning to the adversarial court arena.


Parental Alienation: how to spot, treat it and prevent it

Parental Alienation is a feature of some high-conflict contact disputes between separated parents, in which children develop an extraordinary fear and loathing of one parent and a simultaneous total loyalty to the other parent. These children show complete resistance to any form of contact with the non-resident parent (not only refusing to visit, but also refusing to receive cards or presents, and often destroying those that are sent) and they openly express an extraordinary level of hostility and/or fear of a parent with whom they once had a loving relationship. 

 Karen Woodall will speak at two events in Edinburgh on Tuesday December 4th to Edinburgh to talk about her work with high conflict families experiencing parental alienation. The afternoon event is intended for professionals working with families, and the evening event for FNF members and others affected by parental alienation although these events are open to all comers.  Tickets can be booked online using the above links or by emailing scotland@fnf.org.uk or ringing 0131 557 2440..

Karen will describe how she has begun to form the foundations of a methodology for assisting families experiencing alienation after divorce or separation  This work is founded in the belief that supporting the whole family is the right approach: gender mainstreaming rather than excluding and sometimes vilifying fathers.

.Karen Woodall is chief executive of the Centre For Separated Families (www.separatedfamilies.info), a charity that works with everyone affected by family separation in order to bring about better outcomes for children. Their services are available to parents who are sharing care, those who are caring for their children alone and those who are not able to spend time with their children.

She is also the co-author of Putting Children First, a handbook for separated parents and has been expressing her views in an outspoken blog http://karenwoodall.wordpress.com/


How the law views fathers in Scotland

Janys Scott speaking at Glasgow Art ClubAt a well-attended event organised to mark the first year of work by the Families Need Fathers office in Scotland and the success of the Glagow FNF Branch, Janys Scott QC delivered a presentation on the changes in the way fathers have been viewed in Scottish family law. 

Her own recent cases include the successful challenge to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 on human rights grounds (Principal Reporter v K).  This December 2010 decision now requires courts and children's hearings to read that legislation in a different way in respect of unmarried fathers without parental rights who have established family life with their children.

Her discussion of decisions since Lord Dunpark's very negatve 1986 decision to award custody to a mother and refuse the father access in Porchetta v Porchetta illustrated the positive direction law for fathers has taken over the last 25 years. 

A father's value is now more fully recognised and the terminology is less negative in the Scottish courts in cases involving contact and residence, although her presentation and the discussion afterwards revealed that there are still a wide range of legal and social issues to be resolved.  Fathers from Glasgow FNF group gave their own examples of difficulty in seeing or maintaining contact with their children.

Text of the presentation is now available, and film of the event will be uploaded soon.