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International Conference on Shared Parenting - Boston

May 29-30 - Check it out - Book Now!

The National Parents Organization and the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP) are running a conference in Boston. This conference is widely considered to include almost all of the leading currently active scholars in the world on the subject of optimal post-divorce parenting arrangements. Under the theme “Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in Understanding Children’s Best Interest?”, these experts will present their research results and practical experience at this international and interdisciplinary conference. To view the preliminary scientific programme and speaker details click here.

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  • New conference on #SharedParenting from #ICSP - It's in Strasbourg on Nov 22/23 https://conference.twohomes.org/Home The Fourth International Conference on Shared Parenting: Shared Parenting, Social Justice and Children´s Rights
  • A study just published concludes that over-controlling parenting harms children's development. Another reason for supporting greater involvement of fathers in the care of their children, particularly after separation? The research did not focus on separated families, but it seems likely to follow may well follow that exposing children to the diversity of two parenting styles will of itself better equip them for life. Family separation seems to also bring out more controlling behaviours, not least denying involvement in parenting by ex partners when there is not an adequate reason for this. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jun/18/over-controlled-toddlers-grow-up-unable-to-cope Please support FNF by following us on Facebook, liking our posts, registering for free, making a donation or becoming a member.
  • Father’s Day is our opportunity to celebrate fatherhood. It is a chance for all dads to be reminded that they are loved. It is a recognition of the unique and vital role that fathers play in their children’s lives. Tragically, at Families Need Fathers, we all too often work with dads whose children will not be able to celebrate Father’s Day with them. Many will have court orders to see them that will not be obeyed. Other fathers will have no hope at all of seeing their children on Father’s Day, because they have been “awarded” indirect contact - to send them a letter a few times a year – in the hope that it reaches them. Worse still, many of their children will feel pressurised to reject their much-loved dads. Sometimes this will happen through coaching, but more often it will be because their main carers make coldly clear to these young minds their feelings towards their ex-partners. Why do they do this – could they have valid reasons? More often than not it is because they would not accept that the relationship had ended, because they started a new one of their own, because they were upset that their ex has started a new relationship or because they fear that their ex’s new partner will somehow usurp or diminish their role as a mother. Of course, these reasons are driven by adult emotions and it is harmful to burden the children with them. Children have more than enough capacity to love both their parents and extended families whether they live together or apart. Parents collaborating can do so much to help children to get over their parents' divorce or separation. It is amazing that in 2018 there are still Cafcass Family Court Advisers, judges and social workers who don’t recognise alienating behaviours or appreciate their effect – putting a child in a position of having to suppress and deny their love for their father - a love that dare not speak its name. Over the last year or two Cafcass have accepted that parental alienation is child abuse and they are beginning to develop pathways and tools for identifying it and hopefully for dealing with it too. That said the message has not reached all of them yet. Only last week we heard from an entirely reasonable, good dad whose child has been turned against him - yet neither the Family Court Adviser nor the judge showed any interest in why this might be. Incredibly, they described the father as arrogant and naive for challenging the professionals' views when they had considered the wishes of his brainwashed child. The judge’s decision was horrifying – condemning a father simply for loving their child above all else – for wanting to remain part of the child’s life. They should do better. They need to be better trained. They need to have a far better understanding of research into child psychology and the long-term impact on a child of having to keep secret or trying to destroy their own love of a parent in order to protect themselves from the fear of loss of the other parent. It is amazing that, despite alienating behaviours being recognised by Cafcass nationally and by many experienced judges there are still those who look out to the horizon and conclude that the earth is flat. ‘Professionals’ who ignore all the evidence from those who have sailed those seas. Why for example might a child phone and say "I really wanted to see you on Father's Day, but mummy said no" and then a few weeks later, having not seen him, say "I never want to see him again"? Why do some 'professionals' not exhibit curiosity as to why this child suddenly changed their mind? Of course, there are abusive men and women and a small minority will seek to hide their abuse with claims of alienation. This does not mean of course that alienation does not happen and experienced professionals can easily tell the difference. The earth is round, and no amount of denial will make it flat. Today our thoughts are with all the good dads out there, but most especially with all those children and their dads who are needlessly apart, failed by their main carers and failed by a broken family justice system that is behind the times. Those dads will continue to suffer every single day, as will their children, many of whom will grow up living with the effects of the daily guilt of having to deny their love for one parent in order to hold on to the love of the other. It will be very hard for these children and their alienated parents to forgive the Government and the courts for their obstruction and inaction. But if we all work constructively together, for the sake of all those children of separated families, progress can and will be made. We wish everyone a Happy Father's Day. If you are a father, and you are in touch or with your children - have a great day. If you are a father and for whatever reason you cannot be with your child or children, we hope that they will be happy and much loved and appreciated in your thoughts throughout the day and in the future. Please support us in our work to change things for the better. Support us by becoming a member, making a donation, or becoming a volunteer. You can register on our site to receive our Newsletters, surveys and other information - or just follow us on Facebook and share our posts.
  • It was refreshing to see the Women and Equalities Select Committee strongly supporting extending paternity leave. They proposed a month being offered at 90% of salary. Their reason was essentially to do with bridging the gender pay gap. But there are other excellent reasons for supporting them, Involving fathers more in care of their children brings wellbeing benefits to the children and in nations where paternity leave is more generous, fathers care for their children more not just whilst together, but also when parents break-up. The Government's rejection of the Committee's recommendations is dispiriting. Their claims of supporting equality seem hollow. They are letting mums, dads and children down whilst desperately hugging onto the past - failing to recognise that most families have two working parents and two caring parents. Most fathers are no longer to be 'providers' and mothers to be 'carers'. https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2017/fathers-workplace-government-response-17-19/ Please support FNF by liking our posts, following us, registering with us for free, making a donation or becoming a member.
  • Today we heard the news that an Education Select Committee report on school exclusions is due to be published soon. It is expected to be "damning" and will show that exclusions have reached 35 per day for every school day of the year! We very much hope that it will include statistics and will report on how many excluded children come from separated or "single parent" families where one parent or the other is not involved in a meaningful relationship with the child - broken down by parent and child gender. We are certainly a gender-inclusive charity, but we cannot condone ignoring the effects of increasing fatherlessness on society. We suspect that much of today's violence, knife-crime and many other public disorder offences could relate to offenders who have not benefitted from the involvement of their fathers when they were growing up. Let's see the media start to ask tough questions about this in future!
  • Child abduction is devastating for any parent from whom a child is taken. It is also damaging to the child. In the case reported here the six year old boy was living with his father, but was not returned after a weekend visit to the mother. Around 3 children a week are abducted by a parent http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5785797/Police-hunt-British-boy-6-feared-abducted-Spanish-holiday-resort.html If you have reason to believe your child might be abducted then make sure their passport is safe. If the child does not live with you, consider getting a Prohibited Steps Order, preventing the child from being taken abroad and ask for their passport to be held by a third party such as a solicitor. If your child has not been returned and is missing, inform the police as soon as possible and ask them to put out an All Ports Warning. If it is too late and the child is abroad the next step will depend on the country they have gone to. Some are easier to deal with than others. However, it is almost always easier to try to manage with these issues before the child has been taken to another country. Support the work of FNF by liking this page, following us on Facebook, registering for free, making a donation or joining and becoming a member.

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

 

Upcoming Events

23/06/2018 Sat: FNF AGM and Conference 2018
25/06/2018 Mon: London Central Meeting
26/06/2018 Tue: Harrow Branch Meetings
27/06/2018 Wed: Cambridge Meeting
28/06/2018 Thu: London East (Tower Hamlets)
28/06/2018 Thu: Exeter Meeting
30/06/2018 Sat: Harrow Branch Meetings
2/07/2018 Mon: London Central Solicitor's Clinic
2/07/2018 Mon: Edinburgh Meeting
2/07/2018 Mon: Nottingham Meeting
2/07/2018 Mon: Northern Ireland Meeting
2/07/2018 Mon: Reading Meeting
3/07/2018 Tue: Leeds Central Meeting
3/07/2018 Tue: Newcastle Meeting
3/07/2018 Tue: Oxford Meeting (check day with branch)
3/07/2018 Tue: Northampton Meeting
4/07/2018 Wed: Manchester Meeting