Luton organisation offers free co-parenting course after receiving 10k lottery grant
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An organisation in Luton is offering free co-parenting support which makes children the priority.
After receiving a £10,000 National Lottery grant in July, The Parallel Lives Programme is running two-hour weekly groups for men and women separately.
Co-founder Sobia Sultana said: “Linda and I combined our decade-long experience and identified a key gap in the system. Children are central to our programme, and each session is brought back to the harm that is caused to the client's children, so that parents will empathise and understand the damage that they are causing.
"By working with both parents to gain an understanding of the core issues, we aim to increase healthy communication and reduce the negative impact of post-separation conflict between parents, which in turn will increase the mental health and emotional wellbeing of the children.”
The programme challenges traditional narratives surrounding men's engagement in domestic abuse services.
Sobia said: “We observed that while there was ample support available for women, men facing similar challenges about their behaviour or parenting skills, were often perceived as 'hard to engage.'
"This label significantly limited their access to resources and spaces where they could openly discuss their issues and learn healthier co-parenting strategies.”
She added: “We also understood that parental conflict post separation often led to domestic abuse such as stalking and harassment and that men were not understanding the harmfulness of their behaviour on their children.”
"We’re able to work with both parents to identify key issues and work towards a safer and healthier co-parenting relationship and environment for their children.”
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