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Posted: November 29, 2019

New course offers support for Indigenous parents

Indigenous parents who are going through separation or divorce can now access a free online course that can help them make decisions in the best interests of their children, says the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General.

Parenting After Separation (PAS) for Indigenous Families offers information about how Indigenous parents can honour their children while working through challenges like determining parenting time and child support. It also explains how intergenerational trauma from colonization can affect parents’ experiences of separation and provides strategies they can use to manage stress during this difficult period.

The course responds to an identified need for an accessible online course that reflects Indigenous peoples’ history and cultural perspectives. It features messages and advice from Elders, activities and quizzes, and can be completed at each learner’s convenience over three to four hours. PAS for Indigenous Families can be accessed as video, audio only or text only.

All content for PAS for Indigenous Families was selected, designed and approved by an Indigenous advisory committee, comprised of Indigenous representatives from family, community and legal support organizations throughout British Columbia.

The project was funded jointly by the Province and the federal Department of Justice, the ministry explained in a Nov. 26 media release.

Since 1994, the B.C. government has offered PAS courses. People who complete PAS, or PAS for Indigenous Families, receive a certificate of attendance. Some court registries require parents to file this certificate before they can seek an order in B.C.’s family courts.

Research indicates parents who participate in PAS courses have better knowledge of the full range of dispute resolution options, are more likely to resolve their disputes out of court and have a better understanding of how to support their children during and after separation or divorce, the ministry said.

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