App developed by DWP to aid separating parents
Poll suggests that more than half of separating parents have difficulty accessing advice
For the first time, the 300,000 families undergoing separation every year in Britain will be able to get free online advice tailored to their needs.
The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a web app, called "Sorting out Separation", featuring an innovative and interactive tool, which offers parents personalised advice and shows where they can access further support.
A YouGov poll of 2,505 UK adults commissioned by the DWP reveals that more than half of parents (52%) find it hard to access help and support they need when they separate.
Work and Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, said:
"Parents tell us they don't know where to turn for support when they're going through a separation. A third of British children now live in separated families and it's vital we help parents to access better advice. Parents working together is in the best interests of the children, and more collaboration helps minimise the impact of separation on them.
"That's why we're launching a new web app, named Sorting out Separation and hosted by leading parenting websites, to give people support tailored to their needs."
Sorting out Separation is a one-stop-shop for any parent going through a separation. It seeks to cover everything from how to avoid a separation to coping with the emotional impact of breaking up, accessing legal or housing support and arranging child maintenance. The web app will be hosted by a range of family websites, starting with the likes of Relate, National Family Mediation, Mumsnet, Dad.info, Gransnet and Wikivorce.
Other findings from the new YouGov survey show:
- 39% of parents didn't access any professional support when they separated from their partners, of whom 25% said it was because they couldn't find the right help or support or felt embarrassed.
- Of those parents who did seek professional help, 27% of them felt they received conflicting advice.
The Department for Work and Pensions worked closely with the Department for Education and Ministry of Justice in developing the new service, in conjunction with the voluntary and community sector. It forms part of a £20m fund announced earlier this year to help support separating parents.