The first international shared parenting organization has been established to develop evidence-based approaches to the needs and rights of children whose parents are living apart.
Responding to the alarming increase in psycho-social and developmental problems among children whose parents are living apart, 26 leading research scientists, family professionals and representatives of civil society from 11 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, on 21-23 February 2014 to found a new international organization focused on the feasibility of shared parenting as a viable and beneficial solution for children.
The new association will be known as the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP). Shared parenting, according the organization's by-laws, refers to the equivalent, alternating care of children by their separated parents. The purpose of the association is first, the dissemination and advancement of scientific knowledge on the needs and rights (“best interests”) of children whose parents are living apart, and second, to formulate evidence-based recommendations about the legal, judicial and practical implementation of shared parenting.
Your correspondent, Edward Kruk, of the University of British Columbia (Canada), was elected as President of the new association. The international Council on Shared Parenting is the only international, research-centered association to focus squarely on the emerging paradigm of shared parenting. We have compiled a large body of new research examining child and parent outcomes in shared parenting families, and we seek to integrate this scientific data into family law, policy, and professional practice in the best interests of children.
Vice President Dr. Chantal Clot-Grangeat, Chambéry (France), stated, “Our aim is to find solutions for reducing the problems of children known to arise from family breakdown, such as diminished self-esteem, depression, and possible parental alienation, as well as educational failure, substance abuse, and trouble with the law.”
The first major initiative of the ICSP will be the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2014 at the “Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn” on 9-11 July 2014. The interdisciplinary conference under the theme “Bridging the Gap between Empirical Evidence and Socio-Legal Practice” will draw delegates from across the world. To facilitate an in-depth international exchange, simultaneous translation will be provided in English, French and German.
We invite interested scholars, child and family professionals, and members of civil society to join us in this exciting new co-parenting venture.