Families going through separation can experience increased isolation and conflict.  With our Parenting When Separated Programme, you can help parents to personally cope, and to co-parent effectively, to ensure their children cope and thrive.

This programme is practical, solution-focused and draws on parents strengths. It is suitable for professionals including therapists, teachers and social workers to teach parents who are preparing for, going through or have gone through a separation or divorce. It is flexible and can be delivered over 6-12 weeks in small groups or with individuals.

By training as a facilitator of this programme, you will learn how to support parents to:

  • Solve co-parenting problems in a positive way which focuses on the needs of their children
  • Create practical arrangements for children that minimise stress and conflict
  • Improve communication with their children and with their children’s other parent
  • Cope with the emotional impact of separation and learn stress management techniques
  • Help their children cope emotionally with the separation 
  • Deal with the challenges of lone parenting or being a ‘live away’

“Parents Plus are amazing to work with and supportive from training to mobilisation and evaluation. We have built a good relationship with them, which has been essential for supporting the roll-out of Parenting When Separated in Hertfordshire. This supportive relationship with commissioners allows for successful implementation of the training that is outcome-focused.”

Development and Commissioning Officer, Hertfordshire Council, Nicola Wilder


The Parenting when Separated Programme facilitator training is suitable for a range of professionals, including:

  • Family Resource Centres
  • Family practitioners
  • UK Family Hubs Teams/Managers
  • Family Liaison Officers
  • Parenting Support Team/ Team Managers
  • Area Based Childhood Programme (ABC)
  • Regional Parent support networks
  • Children and Young People’s Services Committees
  • TUSLA Parenting Support Champions Project
  • TUSLA Child and Family Agency Child Protection Teams 
  • Access Support Workers
  • Relationship support charities such as RELATE

Our Parenting When Separated facilitator training is practical and solution-focused and will provide you with the essential skills and learning to achieve the best outcomes for the parents and families who attend your service. The training focuses on:

  • Developing an in-depth understanding of this programme
    delivering the programme via face-to-face and online sessions to groups and individual families
  • Providing opportunities to observe and practise the skills to become a solution-focused facilitator
  • Building on parents strengths as a basis for ongoing change
  • Strengthening inter-agency and community partnerships

Introduction Workshop
We deliver regular free online introduction sessions where you can learn more about this programme. Keep an eye on our website for details of our next introduction session.

Facilitator Training
The next facilitator training for our Parenting When Separated programme starts on 12th September 2024 and consists of three online workshops, delivered via Zoom. Participants are also invited to complete a short assignment between workshops. The training schedule is below and further details are available here!

12th Sept9.15am-1.30pm
Goals, Background, Evidence-base, Course Content
13th Sept9.15am-1.30pm
Groupwork and Session Delivery Practice
19th Sept9.15am-1.30pm
Individual Sessions, Getting Groups Started, Dealing with Challenges

Parents Plus offer a small number of part-sponsored places on the training when accessing finance is difficult.  

The Parents Plus facilitator trainings are open to qualified education, mental health and community professionals who work with families.

Our programmes are successfully delivered with impressive outcomes in a variety of Primary Care, School, Health, Disability and Mental Health settings.

  • Attendance at our facilitator training for this programme is compulsory prior to delivering it to families attending your service.
  • Parents Plus programmes must be co-facilitated, therefore, at least two facilitators need to be trained before a programme can be delivered to families in your agency. Facilitators who go on to complete our accreditation process are licensed to run the programme without a co-facilitator.

Please read our licensing guidelines here
prior to booking a place on our training.

In a large study of primary care, mental health and community settings families who completed our Parenting When Separated programme reported: 

  • Reduction in inter-parental conflict
  • Decrease in child behaviour problems
  • Decrease in parental adjustment problems
  • Increase in parental satisfaction
  • Increase in goal attainment for parents and children

You can learn more about the impact of this programme, and all our other programmes here.

Research shows that families achieve the best outcomes when facilitators and their managers are supported pre and post-training to deliver programmes. We provide a comprehensive package of pre and post-training supports to our facilitators and managers in order to ensure a sustainable and effective delivery of the programmes within their agency.

Our supports include:

  • Implementation support to get groups off the ground, including planning workshops and coaching for managers.
  • Individual and group supervision sessions with an experienced Parents Plus Trainer.
  • Advanced training workshops on specific topics.
  • Extra resources to facilitate delivery, e.g. fliers, posters, certificates, practice articles, parenting articles, supplementary handouts.

  • Support to promote your Parents Plus courses in your community.
  • Advice and guidance on evaluating and monitoring outcomes in your agency to ensure your groups are effective.
  • Access to two individual supervision sessions free of charge in the first year post-training.
  • Sponsorship for further supervision is available on application.

You can read more details about our pre- and post-training supports here.

On completing the facilitator training for the Parenting When Separated Programme, you will be licensed to co-deliver this programme under supervision in your agency, to groups and with individuals. You can read our full licensing guidelines here.

For facilitators who want to take their practice to a higher level, Parents Plus also has an established accreditation process which supports you to refine your facilitation skills and professional practice and reach a high standard of delivery. Representing a major CPD achievement, accreditation allows you to deliver our programmes independently and to work towards becoming a Parents Plus supervisor. You can read more about our accreditation process in the resources section.

Our Parenting When Separated programme package includes a range of materials to ensure it’s effective delivery.

  • A comprehensive facilitator’s manual, with detailed guides to plan and deliver each session, including how to structure group discussion and exercises
  • Two colourful parent books, containing all the programme handouts and worksheets for participants*
  • A copy of the book ‘Parenting when Separated ‘ by John Sharry
  • Posters to highlight key programme concepts

*In running subsequent courses, trained facilitators can purchase additional parent books at cost price. Trained facilitators are also licensed to copy worksheets and handouts from the parent books, as an alternative.

Parent Plus provides onsite training to organisations and communities in Ireland and internationally.  This is a cost-effective way to train your team or to partner with other agencies to deliver evidence-based programmes in your area.

If you would like to arrange an onsite training for your organisation, please contact our Impact Lead, Vicki Byrne at Ivpxv@cneragfcyhf.vr

Change the future for families