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Entries in national parenting strategy (2)

Wednesday
Oct032012

National Parenting Strategy: our views

Commenting on today's  launch of the National Parenting Strategy by Children's Minister Aileen Campbell, Ian Maxwell from Families Need Fathers Scotland said:

"Families Need Fathers Scotland welcomes the emphasis on fathers in this new strategy, including fathers who live apart from their children. There is a wealth of research showing that children generally do better in all areas of life when both parents are involved, even after separation.

In implementing the Strategy, we hope that the Scottish Government shows leadership in making it more likely that both parents can remain involved with their children after separation.

The Growing Up in Scotland study shows that around a quarter of Scottish children have a non-resident father. About two thirds of these fathers have contact with their children but that contact can be anything from 50:50 shared care to a few hours a month or just birthday and Christmas cards, a long way short of full involvement. 

We hear from many fathers, grandparents and a few mothers who are being prevented from any real involvement with their children for reasons other than the welfare of the children.

Although many separated parents reach amicable arrangements focussed on the interests of the children, there is a steady growth in court cases about contact and residence.  The annual number of legally aided applications for contact in Scottish courts has almost doubled over the last four years, from 2005 to 3848.

Families Need Fathers Scotland always advises non resident parents who contact us to avoid going to court if possible and try alternative means of dispute resolution but in may cases a proposal to go to mediation is rejected out of hand. In those cases the options are often to go to court or, unwillingly, to walk away.

FNF Scotland welcomes the increased support for mediation announced today. As well as increased funding to reduce delay, we look to the government to show leadership by reminding both parents at all times that their obligation is to focus on the interests and the well being of their children and avoid point scoring against each other.

Lord Reed in the UK Supreme Court called for a "change in culture" of child contact proceedings. Families Need Fathers Scotland supports the move away from the 'winner takes all' approach to child contact.

Monday
Apr232012

Shared parenting promoted in Scottish parenting book

An article by Families Need Fathers Scotland on "Parenting after separation: the case for sharing" is included in a new collection of essays published by Parenting Across Scotland, entitled "Scotland: the best place to bring up children?".

This publication is intended to stimulate debate and suggest issues for inclusion in the new National Parenting Strategy which is being developed by the Scottish Government.

The article describes the importance of shared parenting and suggests that the parenting strategy should emphasise this as the norm rather than the exception.

 

FNF Scotland will also be submitting comments from discussion at the local FNF groups about parenting after separation and we took part in a round-table discussion on fathers last week as part of the development of the Strategy.