Cafcass Positive co-Parenting Programme extended

After a successful two-year pilot, positive feedback from parents and Family Court Advisers and two CYPNow awards, our Positive co-Parenting Programme (CPPP) has been embedded into national practice.

CPPP is a 12-week programme for families which provides structured sessions to some parents in family proceedings, to help them decide on the best arrangements for the child(ren) involved.

It aims to promote positive change, improve communication between parents, reduce the duration of court proceedings and delay, and restore the focus on the child in cases where parents may have got stuck in their own conflict and lost sight of their children.

It encourages parents to place themselves in their children’s shoes, so they can understand the impact of their behaviour. Restorative practice principles are used to help the child recover with the support, where possible, of both parents.

The programme will be offered nationally in those ‘Rule 16.4 cases’ where harmful conflict is identified as the most significant risk to the child. These cases are particularly difficult or complicated family court cases where the Judge decides to make the child a party to the proceedings and appoints a Cafcass Guardian to represent the child.

CPPP will now also be extended on a trial basis in cases where the judge has ordered a Section 7 report – this aspect of the programme will be reviewed after six months. Family court advisers can recommend the Cafcass Positive co-Parenting Programme to help families safely reach agreements that work for both parents, and the child(ren) involved. If this is recommended, and the parents volunteer to take part, it will form part of the court process.

Sarah Parsons, Principal Social Worker for Cafcass said:

“We’re very pleased to be embedding the Cafcass Positive co-Parenting Programme at an earlier stage of the process where appropriate for this to happen, after Positive feedback from children, families and our Family Court Advisers in the pilot process. Thanks to my colleagues for working so hard to get us to this point and for creating a programme that helps us deliver on our aim to reduce parental conflict that impacts on the lives of children through high quality social work.”  

Parents and families can find out more about the programme here.


Mark, I fully understand your frustration. I am also disappointed with the lack of information provided when other parent is not onboard of putting their own hurt feelings aside and look only the benefit of the children. I am facing an ex whose idea of co-parenting is to agree and fill the calendar when our son will be on given days, but nothing more. Whose idea of holidays – birthdays is to one year with one parent, other year with the other parent. And when I disagree with her rules enforced on me she pulls an alleged domestic – emotional abuse card.

The system is absolutely broken and parents (fathers) are left to struggle and fighting alone for the best interest of their children. I would like to see SPIP courses and more guidance are being enforced upon separation to parties and a non-bias approach to be exercised when it comes to accepting the role of fathers.

I feel my mental health is on the line whilst going through all this and cannot help my son who is reluctant to go over to his mother. And despite I tried everything and now waiting for the court, there is no indication how this will be resolved.

Dear cafcass,
This is all well for parents that have just lost their way through splitting up. Co-parenting is the ideal way forward. I notice your website doesnt say anything about dealing with psychological abusive parents and how to go forward. There are many pschologists who will argue that its impossible to co-parent with a psychologically abusive ex, which causes the child more trauma with being pushed and pulled by agencies with a lack of insight into mental health. I completed a spip coarse but apparently there are no advanced coarses recommended by cafcass of how to negotiate with an abusive ex. Dependant upon the age of child, they will get to to a point where they notice things and ask lots of questions. Maybe transparency into preceedings will get to the stage where it is acknowledged proffessionally without any stereotypical biasey and predjudice which ultimately enables the abuser, and penultimately these agencies acting as an accessary to abuse. This is very hypercritical to the main reason for these agencies which is why other european countries have reformed their family law service…but then the uk doesnt. Why is that? Why are we not changing for the well being of the child. If agencies really wanted to make a difference to a childs well being then they would walk the walk, not talk the talk as it were. I’m finding it harder and harder to answer questions from our child and not putting the other parent down, with no help from these agencies. This is a big cry for help if you like as other agencies cafcass have told me to contact dont respond! The help should be there and im sorry it isnt.


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