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Parents grow more positive about dealing with separation.



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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister for Human Services

Sunday 5 October 2008

Parents grow more positive about dealing with separation

More separated parents are tackling the challenges of separation with a positive outlook, according to new research released by the Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, to mark Mental Health Week (Oct 5-11).

The survey commissioned by the Child Support Agency shows an increasing number of parents are coping with the difficulties of parenting after separation.

In the survey, 52 per cent of receiving parents and 40 per cent of paying parents said despite the challenges, post-separation parenting is a positive experience.

The biggest jump has been among paying parents - up from 30 per cent to 40 per cent in the past six months. In the same period, the percentage of receiving parents who agreed with the statement rose from 48 to 52 per cent.

“Separation can be a difficult and stressful time, affecting the mental health of the people involved,” Senator Ludwig said.

“But it’s good to see more parents agree parenting after separation is a positive experience.”

“Often the emotional stability of the parents is affected as they try to balance new financial pressures and family arrangements.”

“Mental Health Week is a timely reminder for parents who are separated to find time to look at how they are coping.”

“They should ask themselves: ‘Do I need help trying to balance work and financial pressures, while sharing time with my children’.”

“The research shows it is possible for parents to manage their wellbeing through separation, but many will need assistance during these challenging times,” Senator Ludwig said.

“Seeking support can help families move forward with a positive outlook and improve the emotional wellbeing of their children.”

“Separated parents feeling the strain of separation should talk to their family, friends or a GP and also consider the tips put forward by other parents in the CSA’s free Me and My booklets.”

MINISTER’S MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Cosson 0423 823 843

MINISTER’S MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Cosson 0423 823 843

“The Me and My booklets cover a range of topics from re-partnering to looking after yourself following separation.”

The free booklets, and an online Community Services Directory with links to support services across Australia, are available on the CSA’s website www.csa.gov.au.

“The directory provides contact details for almost 2,500 support services, including separation and grief counselling, parenting guidance, legal advice, financial counselling and mediation,” Senator Ludwig said.

Parents can find out more about the CSA’s support services and publications by calling 131 272.

Agreement among separated parents to the question: “Despite challenges, post separation single parenting is a positive experience for many families.”

May 07 % Aug 07 % Feb 08 % Aug 08 %

Receiving parents

42 48 48 52

Paying parents

35 36 30 40

Note: Audio grabs of Senator Ludwig on this subject are available to download at http://www.mhs.gov.au/media/audio.html.