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Entries in relationship support (2)


New Year launch of Relationships Helpline

Timed to coincide with the peak in relationship difficulties following the "festive" season, a new Scottish helpline service for anyone facing relationship difficulties was launched at the start of January.

The Relationship Helpline is operated by Scottish Marriage Care (SMC), who already provide a wide range of support including relationship counselling and support for stepfamilies and young people, with financial support provided by the Scottish Government. 

SMC Chief Executive Stella Gibson commented at the launch that around half of the calls they are receiving on the helpline are from men.  She also mentioned that they also hope to develop provision of telephone counselling to supplement the helpline service, in order to support people who cannot attend counselling at SMCs local centres.

Calls to the helpline number 0808 802 2088 are free from landlines and mobiles.

Helpline opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 9am to 8pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm.


Cross-border relationship support issues

Edinburgh East MP Sheila Gilmore asked DWP minister Maria Miller how parents will be supported to maintain relationships after separation, in connection with the Government's plans for child support reform, and queried whether existing budgets for this support in England are adequate.

The minister admitted that the current child support schemes can entrench conflict and they do not encourage parents to work together in the best interests of their children.

She added "We are taking steps to draw on a range of support to help parents collaborate to reach family-based arrangements for child maintenance wherever possible, which we believe will help the ongoing involvement of both parents in a child’s life after separation."

Given that the funding and support that Maria Miller mentioned will not apply in Scotland, we await with interest for signs that the Scottish Government is adapting their spending plans to coincide with child maintenance reform.  Or the reverse.