Staying Connected workplace courses for separated fathers

4 November 2010

Chained-To-Desk

Staying Connected is a unique half-day workplace seminar designed to help men navigate the separation journey. Developed in Australia and brought to the UK by the Fatherhood Institute, the course has been shown to help reduce stress among separated dads in the workforce.

The UK now has the highest rate of divorce since records began. Around 45% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce. The problems separated and divorcing/divorced dads experience include:

  • trouble sleeping
  • difficulty in concentrating at work
  • taking sick days because they feel bad
  • feeling anxious and upset
  • thinking all the time about what’s happened
  • feeling as if they have no control
  • drinking too much
  • eating junk food and not taking care of themselves
  • feeling hopeless about the future
  • feeling angry all the time.

Staying Connected has been developed in response to the collective voice of such dads, and incorporates many of their ideas and experiences. The programme aims to help men to:

  • look after themselves through the separation process
  • negotiate parenting issues and develop a workable and flexible relationship with the mother of their children
  • be the dad they want to be even when they don’t live with their children.

Staying Connected provides simple, practical and achievable hints and tips to help men take care of themselves, communicate effectively and ultimately stay connected to their children.

Who is the course for?

The course is for any separated father, whether separation is recent or in the more distant past. Course content includes strategies for fathers with very young children as well as adolescents and university age children. The course is not for men in high conflict situations.

How is it delivered?

The programme is designed to be delivered in a relaxed group setting in the workplace at a convenient time – either morning, afternoon or early evening. It gives up to 12 men the opportunity to share their experiences and hear from other dads.

Many participants have told us that they felt relieved just to hear other men talking about their own experiences and how they have moved forward after separation. As many dads have commented, “It’s great to know I’m not alone”.

What is covered?

The half-day seminar covers three integrated elements:

Taking care of me: aims to encourage separated dads to take care of themselves and to seek help where appropriate.

Me and the mother of my children: aims to encourage a constructive and flexible relationship between parents for the benefit of the children.

Me and my children: provides practical tips and hints to help fathers stay connected to their children when they are not living together permanently in the same house or are separated by significant geographic distance.

How much does it cost?

The cost of delivering a Staying Connected course is £1,600 per group of 10 dads.

What are the benefits?

Staying Connected is a strengths-based programme designed to be presented to groups of separated men in the workplace. The course focuses on:

  • looking after their physical and emotional health as they go through the separation process.
  • negotiating parenting issues and developing a constructive and workable relationship with the mother of their child/ren.
  • developing effective strategies for sustaining strong connections with their children of all ages, whether or not they live together.

Each participant comes away with a personalised booklet including many tips and hints, useful contacts for further support, plus the knowledge that they are supported by their employer in the workplace.

Feedback

In our Staying Connected pilots with BT, Citibank and Centrica, all the participants said they would recommend the course to colleagues. Here are quotes from three participants:

“Sharing things with other guys in the group is so valuable- we are going to set up a virtual e-mail group so we can keep on talking.”

“Attending the course made me realise that my situation isn’t as bad as I thought – this was immensely reassuring and made me realise how well I am managing.”

“The Staying Connected course made me realise the importance of staying focused on the most important thing – my children – and not getting sidetracked into conflict situations with their mother.”

Find out more about why you should invest in Staying Connected.

Read our case study on how Staying Connected worked for BT.

Contact us

To find out more or commission a course from us, contact Jeszemma Garratt at j.garratt@fatherhoodinstitute.org or tel 07917 864 130.

Tags: ,


Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.