Code of Conduct: WhatsApp groups

Code of conduct for WhatsApp groups : updated at 23rd July 2021

All users of the WhatsApp group are asked to read and follow
the notes and guidelines listed below.  

Shared Parenting Scotland brings together parents and other family members to discuss the issues they are facing and share experience and solutions. This networking includes our monthly group meetings in six locations and parenting and other courses that we organise. As well as meetings, we are making increasing use of WhatsApp networks to enable private messaging between people in these groups, allowing them to raise and discuss issues at any time and seek support.

Shared Parenting Scotland staff are monitoring the WhatsApp conversations and will try and provide answers to unanswered questions. We are also very grateful for the people who have volunteered to oversee and administer each group to try and ensure that information provided is accurate and messages are relevant.

Shared Parenting Scotland intends to spread the use of WhatsApp so that anyone who contacts us can have the opportunity to take part in a group. We want to try and keep the groups based on areas of Scotland so that local information is relevant and also so that groups don’t get too large.

All people using the WhatsApp groups are asked to maintain confidentiality and not copy any of the messages elsewhere. Shared Parenting Scotland will download and maintain records of conversations in each of the groups in order to add topics, questions and answers to the information store on our new website and also to monitor usage levels, but all this data will be maintained securely and no personal or identifying information will be published or made available outside the staff team. See more details of the Shared Parenting Scotland privacy policy.

The following guidelines for use of the WhatsApp groups have been developed and will remain under review – comments and suggestions are welcome.  We want people using the groups to understand how they operate and what they are for.  All users are required to abide by these guidelines in order to take part.



  • Messages posted on the WhatsApp groups should be supportive and respectful of all other group users.
  • Offloading frustration and expressing strong feelings are both okay, but try to keep your language moderate and your criticism constructive. Try not to swear.
  • Respect the confidentiality of anything posted on the group, and avoid mentioning names and other details in your own posts if there is any risk that these mentions could cause you difficulties. Don’t name professionals – solicitors, sheriffs, child welfare reporters etc.
  • Please do not quote from child welfare reports or other court papers – these are only meant to be seen by people involved with the court case and you risk committing contempt of court or undermining your case if your post is brought to the attention of the court.
  • When commenting on the actions of an ex-partner or any other person who is causing you grief, don’t make the assumption that all people of that gender, race, religion etc. are similarly hostile and avoid language which is sexist, racist or any other ‘ist.
  • Remember that the other people in the group want to hear about successes as well as problems.
  • It’s okay to make passing comments on what’s happening around you, whether it’s football results, politics or the weather, but remember that the group is about being a parent so keep them short.
  • Links to other online information posted in WhatsApp messages should only be made to sites which are relevant to the work of Shared Parenting Scotland. Links and other requests should not be posted if they relate to commercial services, unrelated campaigns or personal appeals.
  • No one is under an obligation to chat, to answer questions, or to tell their story.
  • Some group members may message you directly. There is no obligation to answer. If this direct personal approach does not suit you, please let the individual know, or refer it back to Shared Parenting Scotland and we will deal with it.
  • You are expected to be patient and allow new members to find their feet in this group.
  • You are expected to give new members time, space and peace to observe, to watch conversations, to see how to communicate.
  • If you have concerns about any message posted on a WhatsApp group email and a member of Shared Parenting Scotland staff will try and resolve the matter.  If an Shared Parenting Scotland staff member or group overseer considers a message inappropriate they will contact the person who posted it and seek removal of the message if necessary.


Your mobile phone number is required to join WhatsApp. It is not possible to hide your mobile phone number in WhatsApp. Please be aware your mobile phone number is visible to anyone else in the same WhatsApp discussion group as you.  It is forbidden to misuse the mobile phone number of any other participant in the group.