What is SPIP (Separated Parents Information Programme)?
Updated: Feb 26
What is a Separated Parents Information Programme?
The Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) refers to a course that helps parents look at their separation from their child's eyes and teaches the parents how to manage and decrease the impact of conflict between parents on the children.
How much does a SPIP cost?
If SPIP is Court Ordered of CAFCASS referred, it is free of charge.
Otherwise, the cost of attending a SPIP is £150 for each parent. Two exes will not be forced to attend the same SPIP session, and can attend different ones.
How long is a SPIP course?
A SPIP course is a 4-hour long course in a day. It is provided during the daytime including on weekends.
It can be divided into two sessions of 2 hours each, or be a long 4 hour session with a break in between. It depends on where or who is hosting the SPIP Course.
What happens at a SPIP?
SPIP courses can be either virtual or in real life.
The parents will gain access to a wide range of materials regarding separation and its effect on children. Accordingly, they can ask trainers any specific questions regarding issues they may have with their children handling the separation or divorce.
By attending the SPIP, the parent will get a clear idea of what the child actually needs from them as separated parents.
It will also help them understand the fundamental principles of good communication and how to manage conflicts and deal with difficulties between the parents.
Parents will get to know about the theory of the loss cycle and could be asked to reflect on the journey of their relationship and break up with their partner and how this break-up has and will affect their children, and how the children experience that loss.
Remember that you dont have to go to the same SPIP as your ex.
The attendees will be provided a handbook containing all the information covered in the course and some other useful tips and hints. This handbook can be shared with family members or friends or any other person who maybenefit from this handbook.
Are SPIPs helpful?
The majority of parents who attend SPIPs find them incredibly helpful.
They are informative with qualified trainers who explain parts of each process to you, and leave you with a set of materials to help you going forwards.
Many parents said hearing the opinions of other parents in similar positions top them was incredibly helpful.
Who else will be there?
Usually, the groups in a SPIP course are small. Often, there are no more than 10 in a course.
Who will deliver the programme?
This programme is delivered by qualified trainers.
Most people get a referral from a court hearing to an SPIP. Accordingly, CAFCASS will provide the referral which will be sent to the parents, to show the SPIP provider as SPIP is done free of cost for those referred by a court.
What does the SPIP cover?
SPIP covers both the practical and emotional aspects of parenting and will mainly focus on the possible emotional responses of a child during the separation of his or her parents.
What happens after?
After completion of the SPIP, a certificate will be provided as proof of attendance of SPIP.
Some attendees may be required to show this certificate to the court.
Some parents may fill in a feedback form for the SPIP providing agency themselves, to allow the agency to improve in the future.
If a parent has been ordered by the court to attend a SPIP, then the trainer will report the CAFCASS if the parent has or has not attended the session, and if their behavior was disruptive at all . Trainers may also report back the responses of the parent.
Do I have to attend SPIP?
As mentioned earlier, if the parent has been ordered by the court to attend a SPIP course, then attending the SPIP is a legal requirement.
In other cases, attending a SPIP is not a requirement. However, attending a SPIP is recommended for separated parents as it provides great input for separating parents to allow them to help their children.
Can SPIP be court-ordered/referred by CAFCASS?
Yes, SPIP can be ordered by the court or referred by CAFCASS. It is to be noted that in case there is a referral by CAFCASS, there is no charge for attending the SPIP.
Please note that this article is not legal advise and should not be considered as legal advice.