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FNF E-mail Newsletters Archive

If you would like to be kept informed of our most recent work and developments in family law, simply sign up for a free FNF registration. Once you have registered, you can select to receive our newsletters from the 'My Profile' section. Of course we would be grateful if you would like to join FNF rather than just register.


 Note: if you are looking for the recent Newsletters please choose Newsletters from the Menu rather than Newsletters Archive.

1. Updated McKenzie Friend Guidance
2. Should fathers be present at birth?
3.Parental alienation in the news
4. Facebook and Twitter


This month, we have updated the best practice guidance for McKenzie Friends (lay legal advisers) who wish to advertise their services via our website. 

The updated document (available here) follow updates to the court's own guidance, changes to legislation and the loss of legal aid for many entering the family court. It is more comprehensive than previous editions, to reflect the growing importance and use of McKenzie Friends within the family justice system. 

Families Need Fathers does not provide or oversee McKenzie Friends, and this guidance is intended as 'best practice' rather than a set of standards that can be enforced. As well as outlining to McKenzie Friends the standards and knowledge we would expect of those working with our members and other parents within the family justice system, we hope this document can assist litigants in deciding whether an individual has the necessary skills and experience to assist in their cases. You should be wary of involving anyone closely in your case that is not familiar with the practice and procedures outlined in this document.


New applicants wishing to advertise via the FNF website will be asked to follow this updated guidance, and it will be forwarded those McKenzie Friends currently advertise with us.


This month saw a lot of coverage about a study which had found that fathers should stay away from the birth of their children, as their presence can make the experience of childbirth more painful for their partner... Or did it?

The study, carried out by researchers at University College London, asked 39 heterosexual couples questions to measure their emotional intimacy and closeness. The female partner was then given a series of painful laser pulses, with her partner inside and outside the room. They found that those with lower levels of emotional intimacy, or those who prefer to avoid closeness, reported higher levels of pain when their partner was present than when they were not.

The finding that those with difficulties in their relationship find painful situations more distressing with that person present is perhaps not all that surprising. However, the manner in which this study was reported, suggesting that fathers should avoid being present at their children's birth (the Times headline read "Its official: men shouldn't be at the birth"!), was drastically wide of the mark. There are many good reasons why both parents should be present at birth that benefit both parents, and the majority of parents want to experience the birth of their child together.

A great blog post from the Fatherhood Institute looks at the study and the issues surrounding it in more detail. 


On 20th January, the Telegraph published an article looking at the experiences and effects of parental alienation, or 'implacable hostility'. 

It is rare to see the issue of parental alienation covered in the media, and the article provided an interesting look into the effects this can have on parents and children. You can read it here.


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  • We've been asked to help find "non-resident" parents for a housing survey for a Cambridge Uni housing research project. It is not our research, but interviewees will receive a £20 voucher, and the research will be shared with us. Best call soon as they only need 20 participants, based anywhere in the UK, so please get in touch quickly as it will be first come first serve. Here's the deal: Can you help with a Cambridge University survey in return for a £20 Love2shop voucher? The university wants to speak to single parents, aged 35 or under, who live with their children less than half of the time. The researchers need to speak to parents who have their child to stay with them for at least one night a fortnight, or would if they had suitable accommodation. Participants must have children under 18 and must not be living with a partner to qualify. A researcher will call you to conduct a short telephone survey – that’s all you need to do. All of your answers would be confidential and data kept anonymous. If you can help with this research project, please get in touch on 01638 741830 or
  • SIR JAMES MUNBY CALLS FOR MORE ACTION TO TACKLE PARENTAL ALIENATION At our conference in Bristol on Saturday 18th March Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division stated that 'We must recognise Parental Alienation openly and clearly'. Sir James later went on to say: 'Parental Alienation is a reality - judges recognise that' The President also went on to say that 'steps must be taken to tackle this (Parental Alienation). Responding to a question put by FNF Trustee Paul Apreda, Sir James thanked the charity for tabling 'very helpful' specific proposals for a Practice Direction on Parental Alienation. He undertook to respond substantively on the document by the end of the Easter break. We are delighted that Sir James has spoken out in such a direct and clear way on Parental Alienation. We hope that the UK Government will listen carefully and take steps to ensure that PA is recognised as a form of cruelty and coercive control which can no longer be tolerated nor swept under the carpet. Even after separation, parenthood is a job for both parents and their families to do their best to work together.
  • More progress.. Yes, Let's man up and ask for time of to prepare our kids for the future! What would help is equal non-transferable parental leave - use it or lose it!

    An inquiry begins into the difficulties fathers face when trying to juggle work and childcare. inquiry begins into the difficulties fathers face when trying to juggle work and childcare.

  • Progress abroad: The Israeli Justice Ministry has rewritten a controversial policy which previously meant that women who made false claims of domestic violence or abuse faced no penalties.

    Contentious domestic violence guidance has been reworded following years of campaigning domestic violence guidance has been reworded following years of campaigning

  • John Forsyth from FNF Scotland has a piece this Sunday on BBC Radio 4 about Boys Night at St Patrick's School in Denny. It's an example of a school working hard to engage with fathers in general and "non-resident" fathers. Going out at 13.30 on Sunday.

    Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK. Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.


    “Child Maintenance debt: 'Fathers are let down by CSA and CMS because assessment formula is out of date' @fnforg”“Child Maintenance debt: 'Fathers are let down by CSA and CMS because assessment formula is out of date' @fnforg”


FNF HSSF Kite Mark Award

Families Need Fathers has been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Kite Mark which is a new UK government accreditation scheme for organisations offering help to separated families.

Families Need Fathers work with a range of family law professionals, including Family Law Panel


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18/04/2017 Tue: Hastings Meeting
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