From today, parents who've separated are now able to spend time with their children together - under a scheme started in Bristol by the government. The programme at Windmill Hill City Farm is one of seventeen across the country where families can take part in activities together. The government, which is investing £10 million, says it will benefit children and also reduces disputes over maintenance. Bob Constantine tells us more:
On the face of it, it's an unusual way to spend taxpayers' money - encouraging families to bake cakes, play on the swings, and feed the farm animals.
Linda and Keith Godfrey separated three years ago and Keith only has limited access to his three children.
£10 million is going into seventeen such projects - including one at Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol - as part of the government's reform of the child maintenance system.
The idea is offer help and support to parents who've recently separated by promoting family activities. That helps create an atmosphere in which they can "communicate and collaborate", say ministers, about the financial arrangements for their children's future.
Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb - MP for Thornbury and Yate - is implementing - says they hope to help parents make financial arrangements without resorting to the courts.
Date: Thu 24 Jul 2014
Writer: Bob Constantine
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