Cash boost to help separated parents

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HUNDREDS of separated parents in Angus are set to benefit from extra support to help them to work together for the sake of their children.

The UK Government has allocated £1.5 million of new funding to pioneering charity One Plus One to contribute towards face-to-face coaching for parents in the area.

The innovative and intensive programme is designed to work with parents early after separation and support them to collaborate in the interests of their children.

The award is part of a £6.5 million fund announced by ministers for creative and targeted help by seven organisations that will support more than 250,000 separated parents across Britain. It is the first of two rounds of funding for projects to help parents and is part of £20 million dedicated to supporting separated families.

It represents a substantial increase in government funding for out-of-court support for separated parents.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb, responsible for child maintenance, said the cash will help parents to make sure they are doing the best for their children.

He said: “Research shows children fare better if parents work together, so we are working with the voluntary sector to try out new ideas and funding innovative projects to see what best helps parents from all walks of life to put their differences aside for the sake of the children.

“Overall, we are investing £20 million to support parents going through a separation to do the best for their children.”

Around 50,000 people have already visited the government-funded web app ‘Sorting out Separation’.

Launched in November last year as part of the wider programme of support for families, it is designed to help parents minimise the impact on their children where they have decided their only option is to part by providing helpful videos and information on a host of issues, offering help on everything from emotional, financial, housing and legal to parenting matters.

A network of telephone services offering support with collaboration will also be available later this year.

Penny Mansfield, chief executive of One Plus One, said: “This project will help coach and support parents living in Angus through what can be one of the most challenging times of their lives.

“We’ll provide tailored assistance to help mums and dads overcome barriers and find sustainable and workable agreements for them and their children.”

The award to the charity will also fund online ‘virtual’ coaching to separated couples across the country and face-to-face help in Kent, Lincolnshire, Stirlingshire, Wrexham and Conwy in Wales.