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Entries in FNFS (6)

Monday
Jun032019

Forthcoming changes

As we approach our tenth anniversary, Families Need Fathers Scotland is working on a series of new developments.

A new web site will be launched in early October, bringing this site together with our Shared Parenting site.  The new site will be easier to use on tablets and phones, and will include a wider range of information about Scottish family law and court procedure.  This will include a set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions based on the enquiries we receive on our helpline, at local group meetings and on our local WhatsApp groups.

The new web site will include running commentary on our lobbying work this Autumn to influence the new Family Law Bill and the accompanying Family Justice Modernisation Strategy, along with other news from Scotland and abroad.  

We will continue to promote our training including a new online course backed up by coaching sessions on conflict management and further training for lay supporters and on grief/stress management.

We will also use it to raise funds through activities such as the Kiltwalk. The final Kiltwalk for 2019 is on Sunday 15th September and our team page is here : https://tinyurl.com/fnfskwed2019 .

The new website will also promote the new name of the organisation - more details shortly.

Thursday
Feb012018

Time to end two 'classes' of parents

FNF Scotland's submission to the consultation on the Scottish Government's proposed Education Bill argues that it is time to overturn the custom and practice that gives 'non-resident' parents a reduced level of engagement with their child's school.

Most importantly, there has never been an educational argument to defend that secondary status of the 'non-resident' parent. To the contrary, research from around the world and the experience of those schools in Scotland that have been active in engaging with non-resident parents shows that children benefit on a range of measures from the involvement of both parents in their learning.

However, FNF Scotland argues the current system that allows schools to provide a lesser level of communication with 'non-resident' parents - mostly fathers - breaches their duties in terms of Equality law. 

FNF Scotland supports the Scottish Government's overarching commitment to challenging gender stereotyping wherever it limits the expectations and opportunities of our citizens. The insistence of most schools that they will choose one parent as the main parent is unfair to both mothers and fathers.

The FNF Scotland submission says that not only the law but the administrative substructure of data gathering by schools has to be addressed. In particular it should be required that a standard Scotlandwide pupil enrolment form is devised to include details of both parents (or kinship/institutional carers). Without a standard enrolment form and the subsequent 'annual data update' form that gives both parents equal recognition the two classes of parent are likely to continue.

FNF Scotland accepts that in a minority of cases it will not be in a child's interests for the 'non-resident' parent to be given the same information flow.  Such a decision should follow some form of due process and should not simply reflect the preference of the other parent. This will involve overhauling the ambiguous terms of the 2003 Educational Records regulations, removing the burden of 'taking sides' away from school staff to an independent procedure.

Wednesday
Jan102018

FNF Scotland to launch group in Dundee

 

The group will establish a regular meeting place for parents (fathers or mothers) who are having difficulty  securing stable and consistent arrangements for time with their children after separation or even if they have never lived together. The aim of the monthly meeting is to provide advice and information about the problems they may be experiencing but will also be an opportunity for mutual support and positive encouragement in particular to dads that they have a lot to offer as parents. Around 90% of non-resident parents are fathers.

Ian Maxwell, FNF Scotland National Manager, says, “We are grateful to the Corra Foundation which has provided the funding to start a group covering Dundee, Angus, North Fife and tayside. Some fathers - and grandparents and other family members - have travelled from the area to come to meetings in Edinburgh, Stirling and Aberdeen. We take regular telephone enquiries individuals in Dundee and Tayside so it makes sense to establish a branch here where they can meet and share good parenting advice as well as help each other navigate through problems."

It is mostly but not exclusively dads who attend group meetings. Around 90% of non-resident parents are fathers. However, we also see mothers and members of the extended family like uncles, aunts and grandparents and new partners who can all be deeply equally affected when parents split.

Ian Maxwell says, “There is a wealth of research that shows children do best when there is a stable, loving and reliable relationship with both parents after they have separated. Our aim is to give support to the non-resident parent and his or her family in the effort to make sure the welfare of the children is at the heart of the arrangements they make. It is usually to everyone’s benefit if they can agree a way forward rather than head for the courts though there are many difficult situations when the parent with care refuses to co-operate and the case does end up in court. Our branch members provide emotional and practical support there too.”

The Dundee group will be FNF Scotland's 6th group. There are active groups in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Paisley as well as a monthly skype group for those further afield.

For further information about the Dundee meetings e mail info@fnfscotland.org.

 

Tuesday
Nov222016

Families Need Fathers Scotland 2016 AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the FNF Scotland charity will be held on Thursday 8th December at Robertson House, 152 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4TB from 7-9pm.

As well as receiving reports on the charity's activity during the past year, there will be news of our campaigning to change family law and encourage shared parenting and other developments such as the training for lay assistants and our "Children Resisting Contact" training events.  We will also highlight progress in developing our supporter scheme and an online forum to discuss contact and parenting issues.

There will also be a presentation from Anne O'Donnell of St Patrick's RC Primary in Denny, near Falkirk.  We have invited her to talk about the school's work to involve fathers and other parental involvement activity.  They hold Boys Nights where boys and their male parents or carers come into the school and spend the evening doing various activities ranging from literacy games to outdoor learning. 

We are keen to celebrate good examples of how fathers can be involved in school and will also talk about what FNF Scotland has been doing to encourage schools to involve separated fathers.
Attendance at the AGM is free but we welcome donations - sign up here to attend.

Wednesday
Jul062016

FNFS family picnic at Wellsfield Farm

We are holding an FNFS picnic for parents and children at Wellsfield Farm Park just outside Denny on Sunday 17th July.  This is the start of our celebrations of five years as a Scottish charity and it will also mark the launch of our Scottish FNFS supporters scheme.

This event is being held to bring people from the various Scottish FNF groups together to meet each other.  FNFS members and people who attend our meetings will get free entry to the park, thanks to support from Wellsfield Farm.  The farm park has a children's play area / adventure fun park suitable for children from 18 months to 16 years of age, and the majority of the attractions inside and outside the park are also suitable for adults and senior citizens.  The park is at Stirling Rd, Denny, Stirlingshire FK6 6QZ - open from 10am until 5.30pm.

Bring your own sandwiches or use their café, and we will have picnic tables reserved for FNFS people to meet up at lunchtime from 12.00am till 2.00pm, with wet weather options in the Fun Shack. There is no charge, but donations to support our work are always welcome.

To attend, fill in the form below and we will send out day tickets and further information.

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