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Parenting Information Programmes (PIPs)

What is a Parenting Information Programme (PIP)?

Parenting Information Programmes provide parents with information on:

The Parenting Information Programme is a 4 hour course normally run over 2 x 2 hour or a single 4 hour session.

Who runs PIP courses?

Parenting Information Programmes are managed by the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (CAFCASS), although the courses are delivered by a variety of organisations.

When do parents go on these courses?

After a parent has applied for an order, normally for contact or residence, a CAFCASS Officer may recommend and the court may decide that the parents attend a PIP if:

The programme can also assist parents prior to attempting mediation, and might be ordered for this purpose.

What happens at a PIP course?

Parents are encourage to discuss difficulties and explore possible solutions. The parents will watch a video about separation and children´s experiences. Parents are asked to consider separation, including how separation emotionally affects people, and asked to discuss a prepared scenario from the viewpoint of both parents and the children.

The programmes are intended to support parents, and support them in finding their own solutions.

How is attendance organised?

Once a court has directed that the parents attend, A CAFCASS Officer will contact local programme providers, and they will contact the parents to organise the attendance dates.

Will my ex-partner be there?

No. Parents are booked onto separate courses.

How many people will be on the course?

Normally 10 to 12 people.

Will the PIP provider report my attendance to the court?

Yes, via CAFCASS, but only in so far as to say whether or not you attended. What happened during the parent´s attendance and what was discussed is not reported.

Is attendance mandatory?

If the court has given directions you attend, yes!

How much does it cost to go on a PIP course?

Attendance is free.

Should I be anxious about attending?

Not at all. The purpose of the programme is to support you, rather than criticise. Most parents come away with a positive experience. Meeting other parents in a similar situation can also help.

How do I find a Parenting Information Programme?

CAFCASS provide a directory of service providers which can be downloaded via the button below:

Service Directory

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Michael Robinson © 2014

Family law information for parents whose children are resident in England and Wales

Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's printer for Scotland.

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