What is a SPIP?

A SPIP is a programme designed to help parents communicate better and to see matters from their children’s perspective. It is very helpful if you are struggling to communicate with a difficult ex or if conflict is high.

The course offers separating parents a safe place to:

Learn what children need most when their parents are separating
Develop practical skills and ideas to improve communication and reduce conflict
Get support from parents in similar situations
Access additional support available to parents and children
Understand and reflect on the emotional impact of separation on parents

How much does a SPIP cost?

This depends on who books you on the course: if you book yourself onto a SPIP it costs around £100, depending on the provider, or the court can order you to attend a SPIP. If the SPIP is court ordered, it’s free.

Where are SPIPs run?

Currently, most providers are running SPIPs remotely via Zoom. Some face to face courses may be available too. To find your local provider, click here.

How do I get on a SPIP?

If the court has ordered you to attend a SPIP, you will be contacted to enrol.
If you wish to refer yourself onto a SPIP, contact the provider in your area by clicking here.

How long is a SPIP?

SPIPs last for four hours. Some providers run them at weekends or even in two blocks of two hours in the evening.

Do I have to attend a SPIP?

You only have to attend a SPIP if it is ordered by the court. However, parents who are finding communication hard or where there is high conflict may find the course very helpful.

Do I have to attend a SPIP with my ex?

Parents will not attend the same course together. They will each attend different courses.

The courses are designed so that each workshop group contains some Mums and some Dads.

What if my ex won’t attend a SPIP?

If your SPIP is court ordered, you will both need to attend separately.

If your SPIP is not court ordered, your ex will be encouraged to attend, but they don’t have to do so. You can attend a SPIP even if your ex does not.

Can I attend a SPIP when there has been domestic violence or if social services are involved?

When you apply to join a SPIP, the provider of the course will talk to you about whether the course is suitable in your circumstances. It is usually not recommended if there are ongoing issues regarding domestic violence or social services are involved, although you may be able to join a programme at a later date. Ask the provider and they will advise you.

Where can I access more information?

You can find out more about it all by clicking here.

If you would like to talk to me about how mediation might help if you are a separated parent, you can contact me by emailing polly@abingdonfamilymediation.co.uk, or calling on 07706 513496.

Everything you need to know about the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)