The Supporting Separated Parents in Dispute (SSPID) pilot sees Cafcass offering, from 1st November 2014, a service to help parents who are in dispute with their ex-partner about arrangements for their children following divorce or separation. This service is in addition to what Cafcass already provides to the court after an application has been made.
The pilot will help separating parents in dispute access information, guidance and support about the most appropriate dispute resolution pathways available to them.
We are doing this because if parents separate they need to do it in the best possible way for their children. Too many people end up fighting expensive, confrontational and unnecessary court battles. The Government wants to make sure that separating parents are able to access the right advice, information and support at the right time.
The pilots will run from November 2014 until April 2017.
If you live in a pilot area, you can access the ‘Supporting separating parents in dispute’ freephone telephone based service which will discuss your situation, identify your needs and then match these to the local services which can provide advice and support. The number is 0800 380 0040 and the helpline hours are 9am -5pm.
Each parent who calls the helpline will be allocated a case worker, who will help with access to the most appropriate services and, where possible, arrange appointments for parents. Wherever it is appropriate the service will encourage you to access a suitable form of dispute resolution service – referred to, under the pilot, as a local out of court pathway.
The initial telephone support will be followed up by a further phone call around three weeks later, to assess progress on the efforts to resolve the dispute and provide further assistance where necessary. As this is a pilot, callers may also be contacted at later points for evaluation purposes.
As this is a pilot, the telephone based service to help parents find the most suitable local service depending on their needs, is only available in the areas listed on this page.
Five local service areas are providing additional services:
A1 - North Tyne and Wear area, A2 - York and North Yorkshire, A7 - Bristol, A14 - Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and A17 - Kent.
In some service areas, there will be additional components of the pilot:
In A1 - North Tyne and Wear area, you may also be offered further support from our social work professionals to complete a Parenting Plan, if this is appropriate. This can help you plan for the day to day realities of raising a child and making arrangements with your ex-partner after separation.
If you have used the service and would like to make a complaint then please click here for further information.