Scotland backs shared parenting

10 Jan 2023: In a debate today in the Scottish Parliament, members have backed shared parenting and thrown their support behind the New Ways for Families programme, piloted by Shared Parenting Scotland.

While emphasising the importance of protecting children from abuse, Minister for Community Safety Elena Whitham MSP recognised the “longer-lasting, generational impacts” of family break-ups and the importance of making “family separation less traumatic and stressful for parents and their children”.

The Scottish Government recognised how crucial the role of parenting is. “This project,” Minister Whitham said, “helps to equip parents in this greatest of endeavours.”

Statement from the website of the Scottish Parliament:
  • That the Parliament notes what it sees as the importance of the involvement of both parents when bringing up a child;
  • asserts that every child of separated parents deserves the love and support of both of their parents;
  • believes in the need for parents to co-operate where appropriate; understands that research has shown that there is a lack of support for children of separated parents;
  • considers that parents, including in the Coatbridge and Chryston constituency, may need help to make important decisions about sharing the care of their children;
  • acknowledges the view that there is a need for public policy to recognise these challenges;
  • praises Shared Parenting Scotland for piloting the New Ways for Families programme;
  • recognises that the online programme focuses on the key skills of emotion management, flexible thinking and behaviour moderation;
  • applauds the ethos of the programme, which, it considers, puts children first, as well as focusing on improving co-parenting and making decisions together out of court;
  • notes reports that a similar programme introduced in Canada saw a significant increase in parenting co-operation upon completion, and congratulates Shared Parenting Scotland for securing £16,500 worth of funding from the Scottish Government, The National Lottery, and an anonymous trust in order to deliver the programme.