I recently attended a court-ordered Parenting Information Program, which has recently been setup by CAFCASS to educate separated parents on how best to raise your child in a safe, loving environment.
Before I went on the course I assumed it would be run in rough classroom-style manner and be filled with guys in a desperate situation like myself, but what actually took place was quite a surprise and actually enjoyable, as well as useful.
I was the only father there and the course was run by a lady i knew already from the charity sector and a social worker. On the course was 2 mothers and myself and the course ran from 10am to 2pm and it turned out to be quite useful for the mothers, but for me, I am 3 years into a court battle, so 95% of what was in the course I was either aware of, or I had researched and put into practice.
If this course was made mandatory at the start of the court process it would benefit both the parents and the children involved in bitter court battles and put the focus on the children, which is where it should be.
Throughout the 4 hour course we engaged in group exercises where we discussed situations and both myself and the 2 mothers were able to discuss and show how each party feels in different situations.
Well done for CAFCASS for finally listening and doing something worthwhile towards resolving disputes, but of course much more had to be done, like acknowledging Parental Alienation and recording breaches of contact orders as child abuse.