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  1. PIPS: REVISED/REVISITED (=SPIPS) Cafcass/Prof Janet Reibstein March 2012

  2. from – to: The Revised Separated Parenting Information Programme is a course designed to help parents to: become clear what their children need most from them , as children of separated parents

  3. and, as part of this, to help them to: learn the fundamental principles of how to manage conflict and difficulties between themselves and their ex-partners

  4. including applying these principles by planning and imagining positive management behaviours

  5. Change 1: Clarity and Simplicity of Aim • In its revised form this aim has been made clear and specific in comparison to the original PIPS. • It has been revised in accordance with the evaluation carried out between January and March 2011. • The report on this evaluation made clear that:

  6. The research findings: guiding the revision: • The aim of the PIPS was not clear and its materials were diffuse • Indeed, its title, Parents Information Programme, itself, did not specify that this was to a course to: • help separated parents learn specifically about parenting issues that arise as a result of separation, (rather than general knowledge about parenting)

  7. Changing course content– as result of findings: • Course content included much material on: • the legal and emotional experience of divorce, • mediation • Thus, much of this has been pared down and reordered to appear in later sections, which focus on further issues in the separated parenting process- • Eg, around how to looking after yourself – so you can be a robust separated parent • Eg, around what next steps can be toward helping you as separated parents • Specifically this means that SPIPS now has:

  8. Emotional/legal aspects of divorce now: • Deleted much content on the emotional and legal aspects of divorce • Now has, instead: introductory remarks and slides for people who are or have undergone this, and: • The purpose of this remaining content re divorce is now for participants • to place themselves within the separated parenthood process

  9. Similarly Mediation now appears differently: We have • trimmed the material on mediation • placed it mainly in a section near end about what steps can be taken: • to help and/or ameliorate the separated parenthood process • (eg, mediation, counselling, etc)

  10. Changed course terminology- as result of findings • In addition, PIPS language often referred to ‘divorce’ when discussing separated parenthood but: • a significant proportion of participants had not been married; • some had never cohabited • the repeated allusion in the course to ‘divorce’ was irrelevant for them

  11. Replaces language conflation of ‘divorce’ / ‘separation’ and ‘separated parenthood”: Now it specifically labels, each time, theexperience under consideration for this course: • “separated parenthood’ or • “separated parents” or • ‘children of separated parents”

  12. Introducing “Skills”: research findings The course could benefit from clarity about and introducing (a necessary first step) skills that separated parents need: • to keep their children out of their conflict • to attend foremost to children’s needs as they experience being the children of separated parents • other research on similar programmeshas demonstrated the importance of building skills • PIPS could be a vehicle to introduce and specify basic skills– a necessary step toward building skills use

  13. Change from research: Specifying Skills: TheScenarios Both providers and participants said: • Using ‘Scenarios’ highly valued • Scenarios thus could be place in which skills use could be imagined and beginnings of their application Thus to link specific skills to these • a logical way to introduce and make clear basic skills indicated by other research as being key in communication and conflict management

  14. The ‘skills’ and where they appear: Appear first in “Having Difficult Conversations” • “Staying Calm”: Managing yourself techniques • “Learning to Listen”: Constructive, Active listening • Clearer and conflict-avoiding communication: • “Speaking for yourself”: ‘I statements’ • “Being clear, sticking to the point and to the rules”: • simple, direct statements and requests • Rules of courtesy: “business-like” conversations

  15. Scenarios: Applied next in exercises within Scenarios Slides defining/explaining skills (“Having difficult conversations”) introduced • Now in exercise, apply each, through questions probing how they’d use them in each scenario: eg: • How might the dad do some ‘constructive—‘learning to listen” ---type listening” with the mum? • When and how could the mum make a ‘simple’ offer, doing so by being clear, sticking to the point, and speaking for herself? • When and how could the dad make a ‘simple’ offer, doing so by being clear, sticking to the point, and speaking for himself? • How might mum take a ‘time out’? • How might dad take a ‘time out’? • Any other ways they might be doing some better communication and managing conflict so their conversation is ‘practical’ – sticks to the rules and point-- and stays not heated?

  16. The new structure: An overview of the programme Part 1a • Gives brief overview of the process of separation: • “Did You Know?” slides -- on up to slides re “taking care of self” • separated parenthood as an ongoing process and the necessary points along the way: the normative legal, emotional process • Information about options and services available during this: mediation, counselling Part 1b • Focuses on what children feel and need, a DVD made by young people is shown and you are then encouraged to think about your strengths as a parent Part 2a • Focuses on communication and managing conflict – the skills applied (scenarios) Part 2b • Focuses on moving forward– similar planning and exercises as before, though asks them also to think of which skills they might try to use to achieve their goals

  17. Section 1: • Introductions, ground rules, confidentiality • Separated parenthood—where you are: • Brief overview of divorce and separation statistics ; Emotions and the stages of loss • how strong feelings can affect behaviour • Principle of self being ok in order to be effective parent: authoritative but attentive

  18. Section 2 • The divorce or separation process – legal – financial – emotional – parenting • Court or mediation? Mediation an alternative to court that might be more helpful to parenting; • A “highway code” identifying the most important ideas that can make a difference to children • Being separated parents as a journey:

  19. Section 3 • Parenting as separated parents: What children need: • How children typically experience and respond to divorce & separation: DVD • The impact of parental conflict on adults and children • What children need during divorce or separation • How to discuss divorce or separation with children • Typical reactions of children and how to help them adjust • Parenting questionnaire, identifying their strengths in order to make change

  20. Section 4 • Parenting as separated parents: - How to develop the communication skills you need for separated parenthood: conflict management • Group reconvenes: re-considering the parenting questionnaire, identifying changes made, discussing blocks to change • Managing difficult conversations: (This is where the skills are first introduced) -- focusing on what you can control and not on what you can’t By developing:apractical separated parenting relationship: THE SKILLS: • Some principles and techniques for “Staying Calm”: self-regulation to prevent/reduce conflict: stress levels, listen and respond when communicating • Some principles and techniques “Learning to Listen”: for ‘active’ constructive listening • Some principles and techniques for responding in a non-confrontational way: “Being Clear, Sticking to the Point, Sticking to the Rules”, and “Speaking for Yourself”: (communication and conflict management skills)

  21. Section 5—(applying the skills) • Scenarios: common disagreements and dilemmas: • taking different perspectives and then plugging in: some ways to manage conflict and actively listen: • Using non-confrontational and clear responding; • Staying calm: Management of self • Listening well: Active listening

  22. Section 6: • Moving forward • Imagining their children’s future conversations about this part of their lives • Identifying friends and family that are important to their children • identifying support from friends and family, advice, counselling, mediation for selves • Looking at the “highway code” again and add any ideas of your own • Looking at options for moving forward and thinking about what you have taken from the programme • Tips for contact, helping children to adjust to two households Workbook: plan for future: including identifying where they might plug in some skills Evaluation and ending

  23. Further skills development • The new SPIPS has been designed to link with One plus One’s online programme • Basic skills overlap– and the terminology for them, informally tested– match • SPIPS can only be a vehicle for the first step in skills learning: identifying and defining– the necessary but not sufficient “introduction” stage in learning • Elaboration of them, application of them, practice of them, in accordance with BehaviouralModelling Training principles a next step: ‘Getting it right for children: when parents part’ • The Parenting Agreement, being drawn up, may also be vehicle for further skills application