Co-parenting programme launched

The Community Mediation Division of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts launched its Co-parenting training programme on Wednesday 29th May, 2019 at the Upper El Dorado Community Centre. This pilot project is phase one of the training programme designed to assist persons in shared parenting situations and will see twenty-four (24) parents having the opportunity to receive training.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts, Susan Shurland, noted that statistics from the Magistrate’s court demonstrate a need for this type of intervention. According to DPS Shurland, “The family court has reported for the 2017-2018 law term that 2,623 matters were filed for divorce, 1,342 for maintenance and 565 issues of custody.  These statistics reveal the need for support to parents as they navigate new waters of raising a child or children with two separate households.”

Ms. Shurland advised that the programme will be open to all parents or guardians facing co-parenting challenges and participants will be selected based on a screening process that measures the risk of conflict in the shared parenting relationship and the impact on the child or children. Ms Shurland said, “This programme is all about enhancing the quality of family life and community relationships.”

Meanwhile, Director of Community Mediation Services Division, Mrs. Beverly Harry-Emmanuel noted that the programme was designed as the solution to the growing parenting challenge. She assured all at the launch that as a rule of practice, in all mediation matters, there will be follow up sessions with participants in order to provide continuous support where necessary. According to Mrs Harry-Emmanuel, “Mediation is about behaviour change, it is a long term goal - our work is effecting change in the individual, family and community. The rewards for this initiative will be seen in the long term.”

Three (3) facilitators and twelve (12) co-facilitators, will guide for the duration of nine (9) sessions, at the North and Central Main Mediation Centres.
To register for upcoming Co-parenting sessions, visit the Ministry’s website- www.cdca@gov.tt<http://www.cdca@gov.tt> or any Community Mediation Centre or follow on Facebook or IG for updates.

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