Charity launches free online service to help separating parents put their kids first
08 January 2014
An innovative free online service from relationship charity OnePlusOne is available today (January 3) to help parting parents arrange childcare as amicably as possible.
Couples rarely separate suddenly. Often problems have been simmering for many months, if not years and children too often become caught in the middle of the adult conflict.
Now relationship charity OnePlusOne is launching, Splitting Up? Put Kids First to help parents work out arrangements for the children as early into a break-up as possible.
OnePlusOne Director Penny Mansfield CBE, explains how early intervention can make a big difference.
She says: “Separating parents can become entrenched in their positions. If couples have a very nasty break-up they may find it impossible to work out arrangements for their children. If we can encourage them to think about new childcare needs before it becomes too difficult, that will be much better for everyone.
Latest government figures show that more than half (52%)1 of parents said they find it hard to access the support they need when they separate. Figures show that there are a quarter of a million separated parents in Britain2 and the number of single parents with dependent children in 2012 was recorded as just under 2million.3
The service www.splittingup-putkidsfirst.org.uk is available today (January 3), which has been coined annually as ‘D Day’ by divorce lawyers as it’s the busiest time of the year that women file for separation.
Encouraging parents who are separating to think about their children is at the heart of Splitting Up? Put Kids First.
This is the first online parenting plan that helps couple communicate and make arrangements about who will be seeing the children in a businesslike way. The service is available 24 hours a day. There’s no need to book an appointment or go on a waiting list before help is available.
Research shows that women considering splitting up with their partners will frequently seek legal advice before they make a move to end the relationship. This service is designed to help people settle arrangements without the stress of legal costs.
The charity is particularly keen to get dads involved who are less likely to seek support. An online offer is more attractive to many men and also younger parents for whom doing things online is becoming a way of life.
Penny says: “Separating parents can become entrenched in their positions. If couples have a very nasty break-up they may find it impossible to work out arrangements for their children.
“If we can encourage them to think about new childcare needs before it becomes too difficult, that will be much better for everyone.
“We know from years of research at OnePlusOne the immense distress separation can cause. Nothing like this has ever been tried before, which is why we’re so excited about it.
“Our hope is it will remove much of the bitterness involved in a break-up because you don’t have to make an appointment or go to a place where you have to define yourself in a certain way.”
Splitting Up? Put Kids First will be available in Welsh as well as English and has been created to Double A accessibility standard so people with visual impairment can use it.
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For more information please contact Nadia Gilani at OnePlusOne on 020 7553 9538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
1 DWP (2013) Government funds new innovative support for separating parents (results of a YouGov Poll) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-funds-new-innovative-support-for-separated-parents
2 DWP (2013) Government funds new innovative support for separating parents, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-funds-new-innovative-support-for-separated-parents
3 ONS (2012) Lone Parents with Dependent Children, http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171780_251303.pdf
- OnePlusOne is a UK charity, which aims to strengthen relationships; helping couples and parents through a range of online resources.
- It also provides online training for frontline family workers to equip them with the skills to offer timely relationship support in a face-to-face setting.
- Based on latest research evidence, it promotes early action to equip couples to deal with relationship issues before they become entrenched.
- It was recently commissioned by the Department for Education to lead a high-profile campaign to encourage couples to see seeking support as normal in strengthening their relationship. The charity will be working with expert partners, such as Working Families, Contact a Family, DAD.info, Netmums, The Student Room and YouthNet, to create online spaces where couples can find tools to help them.
- For more information, visit the website www.oneplusone.org.uk