What SPS does

Our helpline staff have detailed knowledge of the specific issues that are faced after separation such as disputes over contact with children, assessment of child support payments, family law and family court processes and how parents can obtain school, health and other information about his or her children.

They can also support separated parents whose children are subject to child protection procedures, social work intervention and children’s panels to understand how these processes work.  They can accompany parents to official meetings and provide advocacy support.

Our military personnel and Veterans who are separated or divorced from their partner can find themselves shut out from the life of their children and unable to raise any concerns with health or social work when they are not the main carer of their child.

Parents who are sharing the care of their children are helped to overcome the difficulties that arise when trying to make shared parenting work, such different parenting styles or issues when a parent starts a new relationship.

This specialist knowledge and experience is not available from the more general support agencies working with military and veteran personnel and we are the only Scottish charity that provides this type of information and support to separated parents.  At least 30% of Scottish children have separated or divorced parents, and although there is no specific evidence about whether the separation rate is higher within the military circles, we do know that children in military families are subject to more moves and greater separation from the serving parent than the general population.  This can lead to further difficulties if these parents do separate.

Building up referral links with the other military veteran support organisations in Scotland also allows us to cross-refer parents who contact us direct  who could benefit from their specialist support services and support. Referrals are only made with the permission of the parent and we maintain strict confidentiality when supporting the parents who use our services.

We also record thankyou messages from clients – including this from a veteran:

“Just a small note to say thank you very much for not only taking the time to talk with me, for the invaluable advice shared but also for the documents you sent to me recently your email.  Dealing with the ongoing saga of trying to reinstate contact with my son is mentally exhausting and overwhelming at the best of times,  which is why it took me a couple of days to pluck up the courage to even open up your email. I can’t tell you how surprised I was to see how simple and easy the social work template attachment was to complete. I’ve recently received a copy of my son’s birth certificate which I’ll be scanning and enclosing in my correspondence to the social work department today and hopefully this will help furnish me with the information I need before making an application for a minute to vary to the Sheriff court.”