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Starting the new school year can be daunting for many children, including the almost 900,000 children of separated families.
Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, said a parenting plan can help smooth the school year for separated families.
In the lead up to the new school year, I encourage separated parents to put together a practical, businesslike parenting plan, Senator Ludwig said.
Some children will be heading back to school for the first time after their parents have separated.?
It is important that separated or divorced parents plan how they are going to share the care of their children over the coming year.?
Parenting plans could include things such as school drop-off and pick-up times, extra-curricular activities, school holidays as well as those special days such as birthdays, Mothers? Day and Fathers? Day.?
There are almost 900,000 children of school age (aged 5-18) whose parents are registered with the Child Support Agency.
Separated parents can pay some of their child support directly to back to school costs, including school fees, uniforms and books, Senator Ludwig said.
Parents should contact the CSA if they need more information about how to credit these payments against their child support.
Senator Ludwig said there are lots of useful tips on the CSA website about putting together plans for the new school year.
The CSA has a range of free publications with plenty of helpful advice for separated parents,? he said.
The Me and My booklets and an online Community Services Directory, with links to support services across Australia, are available from the CSA website www.csa.gov.au.
Sarah Cosson ph 0423 823 843.