Supporting separated parents to focus on the best interests of their children, reduce conflict and improve co-parenting.
The Parenting Orders Program (POP) aims to help separated families who are experiencing difficulty with their co-parenting relationship and maintaining arrangements for their children. Program staff work with parents and sometimes with the children. The program is particularly useful for parents who are involved in Family Court proceedings, and these parents may be court-ordered to attend, however all separated families can access this program.
Some parents will be referred to the program by their lawyer, a court official, Legal Aid, or another community or government agency. Others will be ordered to participate by the Family Court. Some parents participate voluntarily.
All those accepted into the program will have an intake and assessment interview to determine their suitability for participation and to ensure they understand their responsibilities if they agree to participate. This program enables each parent to identify the goals they want to achieve in regard to their children (in the context of parental separation) and their co-parenting. Parents who participate in the program may be involved in groups with other parents who face similar struggles as well as individual appointments to assist them to achieve their goals. Parents may be referred to other services as appropriate, including mediation or counselling.
If you are a separated parent or another person impacted by separation (such as grandparents). The program also offers services for children including groups for children affected by separation.
POP aims to assist separated parents to:
- Focus on the needs of their children.
- Give their children the optimum support, care and guidance they need as they adapt to their parents’ separation and find ways to cope with the parental conflict.
- Better understand their role in co-parenting arrangements.
- Recognise the responsibilities which both parents have to their children and their responsibility to work together as best they can for their children’s care, welfare and development.
- Improve their communications.
- Avoid or reduce conflict regarding their co-parenting.
- The program emphasises the rights children have to be parented by both their mother and father and the benefits that children gain from being cared for by both of their parents.