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Turner delighted at children-first court programme

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 19 May 2005

Turner delighted at children-first court education programme

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today said she was absolutely delighted that the Government had taken up United Future’s call for a Family Court two-session parenting education programme to help separating parents reduce conflict and stress for their children.

“This is a big step forward in giving parents positive strategies for saving their children from a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering when a relationship breaks down,” Mrs Turner said.

“Too often we see children’s lives torn apart by a relationship split.”

She has spent the past year promoting a North Shore pilot scheme and calling for it to become a nationwide initiative. Last night the Government announced a $6.2 million commitment to the scheme over the next four years.

“Social research points to a number of negative consequences for children from parental separation, both during childhood and in later life. The cause is ongoing parental conflict.

“If this programme gives kids a break from that destruction, then it's money well spent and I congratulate the Government for picking up on it.

“Some 97% of participants in the pilot programme were initially reluctant to attend, but said afterwards they thought the programme should be mandatory. United Future would like to see that as a compulsory part of the process of seeking parenting orders from the Family Court.

“It is for the sake of the children. It makes their lives better at a very vulnerable time and what parent would not do two two-hour sessions to have that kind of long term positive impact?” Mrs Turner said.

Ends.

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