Press release 21 November 2013

One in Eight Fathers lose contact with their children – professionals gather in London to discuss


MEDIA EMBARGO UNTIL: 00:01 21 November 2013





In the shadow of news that one in eight fathers loses contact with his children, a specialist Clinic in London is holding its first training day for professionals to discuss the problem of Parental Alienation.


Almost a million men in the UK are estimated to have dependent children with whom they do not live. Almost 130,000 of them have no contact at all with their children. Some of these fathers, as well as a small group of mothers, will experience the forcible destruction of their relationships with their children by the other parent, often referred to as Parental Alienation.


Commenting on the news, Karen Woodall, Therapeutic Lead at the Family Separation Clinic said:


'Too many children are suffering the complete loss of their relationship with one parent after separation, often because one parent is extremely hostile but also because of a lack of awareness of the problem of parental alienation amongst professionals. Our first training day is designed to address the gap in this knowledge and begin a process of developing a greater awareness of how and why so many children and their fathers become so completely estranged.'


The training day, which brings together health and social care professionals from around the UK will be held at the London Headquarters of Facebook, a social media platform that the Clinic feels plays a significant role in bringing and keeping parents together.


Speaking about the support of Facebook for this training, Karen Woodall said:


'Facebook is a significant contributor to the ability of some parents to keep in contact with their children and, we believe, will play an increasingly powerful role in reuniting those children who have been forcibly estranged from a parent after separation. We are incredibly pleased that Facebook have offered their support in hosting this training day, especially because part of the day is devoted to looking at how families can build communications and enduring bonds across time and place.'


The training day will feature Thomas Moore, author of the book 'Please let me see my son' , a father who was estranged from his son for many years after separation. This is the first of a series of events which will be held in London by the Family Separation Clinic to consider how to respond to the increasing concern about fatherlessness in the UK.


Earlier this year, Iain Duncan-Smith's Centre for Social Justice think tank estimated that more than a million children are growing up in the UK without a father as a result of a 'tsunami of family breakdown'.


The NatCen study, based on survey responses, suggested its figure of 980,000 men who have dependent children with whom they do not live, was likely to be a substantial underestimate.






Notes to the editor:


Thomas Moore is available for interview.


The Family Separation Clinic brings together a range of independent professionals with backgrounds in family therapy, child and adolescent psychiatry, social work, dispute resolution and family law and is dedicated to offering families the support they need to build and maintain strong co-operative parenting arrangements that last over time.


The Clinic is run by Separated Families (Europe) Limited, a not-for-profit company. Reg No 07298170


Family Separation Clinic | Token House | 11-12 Tokenhouse Yard | London | EC2R 7AS



Further information: 07919 954 770