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Introduction

Trial delivery of virtual Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) expands following high uptake and positive feedback

Trial delivery of virtual Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) expands following high uptake and positive feedback

A few weeks ago, we shared how our Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) service, had adapted service delivery through the current Covid-19 pandemic by moving their sessions online. We caught up with the team at SPIP to check in with them and find out how the team has adapted to this new way of working.

SPIP delivers sessions aimed at helping parents understand how to put their children first whilst they are separating. The sessions are delivered to ensure parents can learn how to manage and reduce the impact of conflict on their children during this increased time of stress and anxiety for families.

Following the first trial virtual sessions which began in early April, the number of sessions has increased week by week with more facilitators finding the confidence to deliver sessions in this new way of working. These virtual sessions are delivered to smaller groups than the previous face to face sessions, with a maximum number of four people per course, allowing for ease of coordination and administration.

‘Flexibility for parents allowing them to book a time that suits them.’

In April alone, 120 service users were supported through these sessions with 37 courses being delivered. Sessions are tailored to mornings, afternoons, and evenings as well as during weekends with evenings being the most popular with parents. Offering different times for courses has also allowed the SPIP team to identify the least popular times and provide more flexibility for parents allowing them to book a time that suits them.

Moving into the last two weeks of May the service is now running four virtual sessions a day and including sessions over weekends so attendance can increase and so far 82 service users have attended sessions this month.

Feedback from participants highlights how this new approach has really made a difference to parents and how well they have been able to engage with the Programme:

‘A warm and friendly atmosphere where we could all tell our stories in the comfort of our own homes.’

‘‘To be honest, I did not know what to expect at the course, but I had an open mind, however, as soon as I got into the meeting room Robert welcomed me in such a warm and kind manner, it made me feel at ease and free to be myself, express myself and really engage with the course. Robert really set such a warm and friendly atmosphere where we could all tell our stories in the comfort of our own homes, and he was soo relatable, understanding and so encouraging towards us and our journeys. He really made us see the perspective of our children, but not in a judgemental or condemning way….It really gives so much hope and also allows us to not condemn ourselves when we make mistakes but we can look forward and still do the right thing instead. The atmosphere was so amazing, everyone was able to talk about things we would normally never do, and it takes a unique combination of skill, experience and personality to be able to do this. I have left this course encouraged, heard, and with new skills (and old skills sharpened) to raise my children and look after myself.’’

Well done to Robert and to all of those involved at the SPIP service to ensure service delivery continues and for continuing to reach and support families during these uncertain times.