Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK

- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -

Reform of UK support for families

In November 1998, the UK Home Secretary issued a consultation paper: Supporting Families.
Click here for the full text in Adobe format (472K)

The paper stresses the importance of families and among other things proposes education programs for marriage, parenthood and also post divorce parenting.

The government's family policy is claimed to be based on three simple principles:
The report concentrates on five areas where the government believes it can make a difference:
Contrary to press reports which claim that it proposes jailing parents who obstruct contact it, the report proposes education programs:
4.34 Education programmes might also be
introduced for couples who have already split up, if
one partner is frustrating the other in obtaining the
contact with their children which the courts have
decided is in their childrens best interests. In theory,
courts can fine or even send to prison those who
deliberately obstruct contact: but these remedies are
frequently ineffective, if not counterproductive, and
the courts use them only as a last resort. These
programmes, in contrast, would be positive and
constructive, showing how continuing contact with
both parents is normally in a childs best interests.
(Safeguards and exemptions would again be needed
in cases where violence was or had been an issue.)
[page 36]

Essential reading!


Foreword by the Home Secretary

CHAPTER ONE: Better Services and Support for Parents

CHAPTER TWO: Better Financial Support for Families

CHAPTER THREE: Helping Families Balance Work and Home

CHAPTER FOUR: Strengthening Marriage

CHAPTER FIVE: Better Support for Serious Family Problems

CHAPTER SIX: The Next Steps -Your Views

Consultation Questions
Related Government Publications

David Cannon
Last updated - 7 November 1998
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