Marital Separation
Understanding and Meeting
the Needs of Children

Mediterranean Conference Centre
30 October 2008
7.00pm for 7.30pm


Seminar description

When relationships end, the former partners need to come to terms with their own feelings whatever those may be, including loss, guilt, depression, anger, fear, insecurity.  There will be financial and practical consequences to be addressed such as where to live, the cost of maintaining two homes, taking responsibility for unfamiliar tasks. Some may feel overwhelmed by a sudden betrayal, others may have been drifting apart for years and for some factors such as domestic violence, alcohol or drug misuse may have  become too much to tolerate.

Whatever the circumstance the breakdown of marital relationships is also a confusing and emotional time for children and how parents cope will have a fundamental impact on how children adjust to their new situation.

Children’s reactions will vary according to their age, personality, relationship with each parent and their feelings about the separation. Usually they will want reassurance that both parents still love them, that they will still have a meaningful relationship with both parents and that they will be able to talk about each to the other.

Sadly some parents can fail to remember that parenting is a joint responsibility and persists after separation. Children’s needs can be lost in the hurt and recrimination of the separation process and failure to support children and collaborate on contact issues can leave them feeling insecure and confused. Often their opinions and views are either not sought or not respected in the decision making about their future.

This seminar looks at how teachers, counsellors, separation lawyers and Judges, and health professionals can support children when parents separate and draws on experiences of parents who have experienced separation.

With the child as the central focus a panel of experienced professionals across a range of disciplines will consider how to strengthen present arrangements in Malta and ensure children’s rights are upheld and their wishes and feelings are addressed. Through interaction with the seminar participants the panel will draw up an action plan to ensure that children have access to the support they want and need. 


30th October 2008                      7pm for 7.30 pm


Malta Institute for Medical Education
Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta

Target audience

Parents who are separated or in the process of separating, community and support organisations, psychologists, school teachers, pastoral care workers, social workers, youth services workers, family doctors and paediatricians, nurses working with children, lawyers and judges




Lynne Peyton, M.Sc. C.Q.S.W. Consultant in Children’s Services, Lay Magistrate Family and Youth Courts Northern Ireland, on Editorial Board for Child Care in Practice Journal

  Expert Panel

Ms Carmen Zammit
The Commissioner for children

Dr Angela Abela PhD- Psychologist, Family therapist

Dr Charlie Azzopardi, B.Psy.(Hons), M.Sc.(UoL),
Doct. Sys. Psych.(UEL).
Psychologist, Family therapist

Dr Tatiane Cassar LL D
Child Advocate

Mrs Bernie Mizzi B.A (Educ) Hons
School Principal

Appogg Social Worker

Dr. Mariella Mangion MD MRCP Paediatrician