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COVID-19 - Shared Parenting

Is it still OK to share parenting arrangements during COVID-19?

During the coronavirus outbreak there are extra pressures on parents. Usual routines have had to change and this has made it tricky for everyone. For parents who live apart from each other this might mean a change to usual arrangements for sharing care of their children.

The government recognises that it is still important for children to spend time with both of their parents wherever possible. During lockdown children are still able to stay with both of their parents, moving between the households as needed.

Wherever possible parents should work together to make sure their children can have safe, positive, regular and predictable contact with both parents during social distancing.

Coronavirus has meant a lot of change and worry for children and young people. There have had to be changes made in schools, and lockdowns make it hard for us to be physically close to friends and family. It is important children can still see both parents if at all possible. This might be harder for parents if;

  • They do not live locally and transport is proving tricky.
  • Maybe one parent or someone in their household is ill and your child has to miss some visits.
  • Someone in one of the homes may be very at risk from the virus and be ‘shielding’ – meaning it is not possible to stay there.

Finding other ways to keep in touch with letters, phone and video calls might be the best you can do right now. If the children are living with you, doing all you can to support your child to stay connected with their other parent is really important.

  • Some parents already struggle to work together to jointly care for their children. This may prove even harder during the coronavirus. Try not to let your children overhear arguments and disagreements between you. It can leave children feeling ‘stuck in the middle’ and makes things harder for them.

    The virus may cause more financial and practical issues making it extra challenging. The Money Advice Service has information about child maintenance and other money issues *here*.

    The relationship may have been abusive and not safe for your child to be around. Some parents may use the current situation to try and control and manipulate. Find out more about coping with this *here*.

  • If your child is finding changes due to coronavrius or any disagreements it is causing in the family hard to deal with, give them time to talk with you. There is good advice on talking and listening to your child *here*.

    This is a stressful time for everyone. When parents look after their own wellbeing it makes a difference to you, and how your child feels too. Talk to family and friends.

    If you are struggling access your own help, you can contact Norfolk Wellbeing Services *here*.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme to by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.

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