Cafcass has this week launched Parenting Plan and Family Meetings, a free support service for parents in Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire.
Parents from these areas who are having difficulties reaching agreements about their children after separation can book a free meeting with a qualified professional from Cafcass. In this meeting the Cafcass professional will support them to make lasting arrangements and decisions about their children’s upbringing, by using a Parenting Plan.
The meetings support parents to make lasting agreements that are in the best interests of their children.
Marie Gittins, Senior Head of Service for Durham, Tessside and North Yorkshire said “In 2015 Cafcass received 1,845 requests from the court to work with families from Greater Manchester struggling to agree arrangements for children after separation. Many of these cases do not need to go to court.
“The Parenting Plan and Family Meetings offer parents a better alternative to entering costly and stressful court proceedings.
Unlike applying for an order made by the family court, which can often outgrow the needs of the child, parents who attend a Parenting Plan or Family Meeting are able to make flexible arrangements that reflect the day to day realities of raising a child. It helps parents plan for the future and they are able to adapt their plan should they need to.”
Below, Mark a father from Manchester talks about how, after struggling to communicate with his ex-wife, using the Parenting Plan helped them to come to an agreement about arrangements for their two sons