Fair Parenting Project

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Fair Parenting Project

Ottawa, United StatesOttawa, Canada
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

By 13, ¼ children have separated parents and are at-risk for many lifelong social ills. Sports reduce these risks, but scheduling conflicts leave children excluded. Fair Parenting integrates children’s services (daycare/school bus) and activities (sports) with a common parenting plan (timetable).

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

Imagine children of separated parents having peace between their two homes and being included in sports and activities.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Currently, children with two homes (separated parents) do not participate in typical community services and activities because of scheduling conflicts and the inability of service providers to cater to the myriad of different and unique parenting plans. This leads to children having their two homes fight over daycare decisions, school bus allocation, and sports/activity programming. Children, parents and service providers are all harmed.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Fair Parenting Project's patented, community approach to parenting plans integrates children with two homes into community services and activities. Community stakeholders communicate and share needs. Feedback loops between children, parents and services align interests through good scheduling. • Lawyers, soccer coaches, school bus drivers and teachers in these communities appreciate the benefits of children being on the same parenting plan. • Children are accommodated by service providers more efficiently, without parental conflict or surprises. • At-risk youth are given their childhoods back with life long dividends to them, their parents and their community. • The Fair Parenting Project is a self-financing social enterprise.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Case Study: The Goulbourn Girls Hockey Association is based in Stittsville, Ontario. In 2013/2014 the GGHA has two teams at the Novice and Atom level and one team at the Peewee level. Problem • Players showing up at every other or random practices. • Coaches and volunteers placed in the middle of custody/ access/ scheduling disputes by separated parents. • Communication between coaches/volunteers and both of a player’s homes cumbersome, time consuming and wasteful. • Diffusion of parental responsibility. Solution Hockey Association moved all home practices and games to standard days each week in line with the community Fair Parenting Plan schedule. Players, coaches and parents enjoying less conflict and confusion.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In Fair Parenting communities, the lives of vulnerable, at-risk children are dramatically improved through implementing a common schedule. Separated parents now have a best practices model parenting plan that fits into their community. It saves parents: • time • stress, • money • conflict. These are solutions that no one child, parent or service provider could achieve alone. Fair Parenting gets lawyers, service providers and parents focused on meeting their own needs while also meeting the needs of children with two homes in a way never before possible. The Fair Parenting Project enjoys growing success in its existing communities as well as in new communities. Success is measured through increased accessibility, increased participation, and decreased institutionalized conflict (litigation/mediation). Currently, almost 10,000 daycare spots have been integrated!

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The Fair Parenting Project was established as a private, for-profit social enterprise. Sustainability key to implementing this project; we did not want to provide temporary solutions for children, only to have dreams shattered when grants ran out. Fair Parenting has internal revenue streams from: • 3rd party service providers • professional certification • premier memberships This revenue allows the Fair Parenting Plan to remain free.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The mass of funding and research into ameliorating the suffering of children and parents facing separation and divorce has gone into mediation. Mediation effectively reduces the pain of the divorce process. Unfortunately, it is completely void of providing a long term solution. Studies repeatedly show that children of separated parents are engaging in community activities far less than their peers and suffering anxiety, depression and other life long ills. Our current system is a dismal failure. Fair Parenting invented the community approach to parenting plans and is it's sole driving force.

Founding Story

Years ago, Dr. Lauren Donen developed a best practice’s model parenting plan based upon children’s mental wellness needs, considering time with each parent, bonding with siblings, and maintaining connection with their two homes. Working with Eric Letts this model was honed to remove power struggles and deal with common friction faced by divorced parents. Our clients/patients were ‘less unhappy’ with this schedule. But many frustrations facing these families required a bigger solution. In 2011, we started a pilot project. All the divorce attorneys in an a town agreed to promote our parenting plan. Parents, gov't daycares and a progressive school bus service joined- it worked! With each new community our methods improve. It is rewarding!
About You
Fair Parenting Project
About You
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About Your Organization
Organization Name

Fair Parenting Project

Organization Country

, Ottawa

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Ottawa

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Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

The Fair Parenting Project is currently engaged in a growing number of scaling experiments with other communities. It is building capacity and scale to spread on a regional basis (state/province) instead of city to city. It is anticipated that rapid expansion should have Fair Parenting Communities throughout Canada and the US within 2014. There has also been strong interest for the UK, Australia and South Africa. Stake holder discussions are being held in many regions to facilitate growth.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The barriers encountered so far have been fear of change by school bus services. School bus services operate in districts where geography requires this costly public expense. It is an important part of any home's daily routine.
Unfortunately, many school districts still dictate that a school bus goes to one of a child's two homes 100% of the time, even if the child is there only 50% of the time. This forces a child's homes to fight over the coveted bus service. The Project successfully educated some school districts to introduce change. It also is sponsoring 3 human rights proceedings.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

The Fair Parenting Project is all about building cooperative relationships with stakeholders. Daycares, service and activity providers are seeking a solution to this social problem as much as the parents, children and attorneys. The Fair Parenting Project relies on continuing these interactive relationships to foster mutual growth and meet each group's needs.

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?


Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

The Fair Parenting Project is as much about service providers meeting the needs of children and families, as it is about families structuring their schedules to meet the needs of the service providers.

It is a model of shared communication, analysis and action.

Service providers have certain needs to make integration possible given their resource limitations. Fair Parenting standardizes family schedules to let service providers be more efficient. Simultaneously, service providers commit to providing services to the common schedule, giving families assurances of inclusion.

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?


2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?
What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

If other, please specify
What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

If other, please specify
Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?
What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

If other, please specify
What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

If other, please specify
How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

If other, please specify
What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

If other, please specify
How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

If other, please specify
How is feedback published/transparent?

If other, please specify
Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.
If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?
What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?