A group of family professionals and parents’ groups from 14 countries have called on governments to actively promote the principle of shared parenting.
Delegates at the ‘Two Homes’ event, the first workshop held by the International Platform on Shared Parenting in Bonn, included parents’ organisations and social scientists from countries in both Europe and North America.
The two day conference considered the latest evidence-based research on shared parenting and called on governments, family courts, lawyers and social workers to encourage shared parenting initiatives.
The group considered recent Swedish research suggesting that children living in separated families who share parenting experience less bullying than those in families where only one parent is actively involved. Previous research also suggests that children in shared parenting situations do better at school, and have fewer social, family and psychological problems than others.
The group adopted the following initiative:
“We must extinguish the flames of conflict between separated parents so that children can benefit from the support of their mothers and fathers. There must be more widespread awareness, acceptance and implementation of shared parenting as a viable and preferred solution among the public and involved professions.”
International Platform initiator Angela Hoffmeyer explained the group’s motivation:
“Across Western societies there is increased enthusiasm for shared parenting. Our aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of this living arrangement for children and to overcome reservations still prevailing in the legal system.”
The initiative received was supported by parenting charity Families Need Fathers. Chair Jerry Karlin said:
“The Two Homes event has emphasised that shared parenting benefits children, families and communities by ensuring parental separation does not lead to a child becoming estranged from a loving parent. It was very positive to see organisations from a number of countries working together to share details of research and best practice on shared parenting arrangements.”