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Entries in funding appeal (1)


Launch of Parental Alienation funding appeal

Families Need Fathers Scotland is launching a funding appeal to mark International Parental Alienation Awareness day on 25th April 2017.

Parental alienation, where a child rejects a previously loved father or mother due to undue influence from or loyalty to the other parent, is being increasingly recognised in Scotland.  Some sheriffs are making orders for family therapy to help rebuild the relationship between children and their alienated parent. Child welfare reporters should soon be receiving specific training on parental alienation as part of their preparation for carrying out reports for family courts.

But this awareness is only just beginning to spread. Family solicitors and advocates often acknowledge that there is deliberate or unconscious alienation in some of their cases but can’t see a way forward.

There are very few family therapists and child psychiatrists in Scotland with knowledge and understanding of parental alienation. Even when sheriffs would like to order some sort of intervention to undo the damage that alienation is doing to a child they encounter the shortage of professionals able to work with the family members involved.

Families Need Fathers Scotland has been helping fathers and mothers who are affected by parental alienation. We provide information and support and have organised training sessions conducted by leading specialists in this area such as Karen Woodall, Dr Kirk Weir and Dr Sue Whitcombe.  We have also supported individual parents with their court case, such as the father in AH v CH, and we have followed instances where alienated children have been successfully reintroduced to their parent.

This funding appeal is being made so that we can establish a separate fund to support family intervention where significant progress has been made but funding has run out before the work is complete.  Many of the cases we know about have taken far too long to proceed through the legal system before a suitable professional is identified and work can begin. The longer the gap in contact between parent and alienated child the harder it becomes for a therapist to intervene. Getting a court decision in your favour is no use if the case has taken so long that restoring a relationship with the child is almost impossible.

We are also very keen to be able to keep a record of alienation cases in the Scottish courts that will help build knowledge and awareness of successful interventions but also learn from the unsuccessful ones, including those in which a potentially successful intervention stopped short through lack of funding.

Why are we launching this appeal. The rules around publicity that might identify an individual child make it very hard for any affected individual to embark on crowdfunding on their own behalf.  

Families Need Fathers is a recognised Scottish charity with a solid reputation.  We are asking you to trust us to use the money raised in an appropriate way.  We will seek guidance from various experts in deciding which cases are worthy of support, and we will use a proportion of the funds to support our training events and other work to publicise the ways in which parental alienation can be treated and overcome.

By supporting the Make it a FAIR Fight appeal you will help ensure that Scottish children aren’t needlessly excluded from the love and affection of one of their parents, and that intervention in cases of parental alienation will become widely available.

You will help us to confront the shoulder-shrugging lawyers who say "There’s nothing can be done. Ask the court to allow you to send Christmas and Birthday cards" or the therapists who say  "respect the voice of the child" without investigating what lies behind a child rejecting a parent they previously loved and who hasn't ever harmed them.