Minister unveils Innovation Fund for separating parents
- Published on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 14:11
- Posted by Scott Buckler
The Government is taking radical steps to promote collaborative parenting in separated families. A fund, worth up to £14 million over two years, is being established to develop effective and innovative support services for separated and separating families
The new services will help parents to foster collaborative relationships with each other after separation, including agreeing child maintenance.
Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller said:
“The fund will be for interventions that can help parents work together, including intensive counselling, emotional support and mediation, as well as online and telephone advice. These kinds of services are best delivered outside of government and there is considerable expertise, notably in the voluntary sector, of providing them.”
Today’s announcement reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to shared parenting which also includes changes to the family justice system and an overhaul of the child maintenance system to see parents supported to make their own, family-based, child maintenance arrangements whenever possible.
The Government wants to see better co-ordination of services available to separated and separating families and announced a £20m investment towards this in January. The bulk of the funding will be distributed towards the Innovation Fund.
Maria Miller added:
“If separation is unavoidable then having both parents actively involved in their lives is the best way for children to develop. So this is a challenge for organisations and individuals to suggest how we can make this important investment in families really count.”
The Child Support Agency currently costs the taxpayer approximately £0.5 billion per annum. Department for Work and Pensions research has suggested that the majority of separated parents currently using the CSA believe they would be likely to make their own maintenance arrangements with the right help and support.