July 25, 2019 By Ginger Gentile, National Parents Organization Deputy Executive Director
National Parents Organization affiliate leaders are hard at work creating a roadmap on how to create momentum to pass shared-parenting legislation and educate the judiciary about its benefits. This road map will include practical lessons on how to create a core group of members, fund raise, and build alliances with organizations. Too often activists rush into trying to get legislation passed without knowing how to build a foundation of support.
The good news is that shared parenting custody arrangements for children after divorce is overwhelmingly popular, with polling showing numbers as high as 87% that cross gender, socioeconomic and party lines. But translating this support into change isn’t always easy with legislative bodies that move slowly and are captured by special interests. That is why our messaging must always be child-focused: shared parenting is not only an effective way to reduce adversarial divorce proceedings and prevent childhood trauma, it will also save tax-payers money.
The roadmap initiative is being led by Matt Hale, leader behind the 2018 Kentucky default shared parenting law, and Christian Paasch, of Virginia, who runs one of the largest NPO affiliates. This roadmap will be matched with the NPO mentorship program that matches new affiliate leaders with more experienced ones.
In 2019-2020 the focus of NPO will be on building bridges with women’s groups, domestic violence advocates, ACES (Adverse Childhood Experience Study movement to prevent childhood trauma), and the legal community. Friendly messaging and diversifying our base with fresh voices will expand our message of healing post-divorce. While “Parents” is part of our identity, our organization welcomes adult children of divorce, social workers, lawyers, retired judges, teachers and academics who realize that loving, fit parents being erased from their children’s lives after divorce and separation is the silent public health crisis of our time.
If you are ready to be part of the solution, fill out this form so we can put you in contact with a local affiliate or start a new one.