Parenting Information is a program that you will complete when an application has been or may be made to the court that involves a child or children, particularly where parenting arrangements (decision-making responsibility and parenting time or contact time), are being addressed. This program is mandatory when an application is filed in the Supreme Court (Family Division) (per Civil Procedure Rule 59.17).
The main goals of the Parenting Information Program (PIP) are:
To increase parents’ awareness of the impact of parental conflict on children
To improve communication between parents about their children’s needs
To provide new ways to avoid placing children in the middle of issues between their parents.
You can also attend PIP voluntarily. PIP provides information to parents who are experiencing separation or divorce, or who are parenting apart.
PIP is not about teaching you to ‘be a parent.’ The focus of PIP is to make parents aware of how easily children get caught in the middle of conflict, and how to keep this from happening. The Program also covers information on topics like effective communication, dispute resolution, types of decision-making responsibility and parenting arrangements, and ages & stages of child development. The program uses the term ‘parent’ to describe anyone providing parenting to a child – this can include grandparents, other relatives, or family friends who are involved in the court application or in raising the child. You will not have to share personal information about your situation during your PIP session.
There are currently two ways to attend parent information sessions: online or virtually.
Online PIP is accessed through the link below, whereas virtual PIP is presented live using Microsoft Teams and can be accessed using internet or phone. The other party will be signed up for a different session – you will not attend together.
As of September 1, 2023, if you are required to complete the Parenting Information Program, you will be notified with a date and time to participate in a virtual PIP session.
The online module is available in English and French:
You can review the Parenting Information Program Participants Package for session handouts and worksheets!
Vous pouvez consulter la trousse du participant au Programme d'information pour les parents pour obtenir les documents d'information et de travail.
Parenting Information Program (PIP) Online
This module is the online version of the virtual Parenting Information Program sessions offered at family law courts. This module contains the same information as the virtual sessions.
This module contains information in writing and audio. You can find all of the written notes from the module in the ‘resources’ tab, located in the upper right corner of the module. You can find other resources in this tab as well.
The module takes about 1 hour to complete. You do not have to complete it all at one time. If you close the module and open it back up on the same computer, the module should have saved your place. Otherwise, you can use the index on the left side to find your place.
At the end of the module, you must fill in your contact information if you want the court to know that you have completed this module.
You can also fill out the confirmation if you think you may start the court process, but are not sure yet. The court will keep this record in case you start an application involving children within the next 12 months.
For those who have a court application involving children, you must complete the confirmation form. The court will have no other way of knowing that you have done the module. If the court does not receive your confirmation, you may have to do the module again, or attend a virtual session. There may be consequences if you do not complete the Parent Information Program when you are required to do so.
Note: if you are required to attend PIP, and have not attended a virtual session within the last year, you may be scheduled for a virtual session.
There are also videos used in the PIP sessions to show different ways that children can get caught in the middle of their parents’ disputes.
The videos were developed by the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse (AJEFNE) in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, to improve the accessibility of the Parent Information Program by making program content available in both English and French.
The videos do not stand alone, but are meant as a tool to help program facilitators introduce new ideas and to stimulate and focus discussion among the participants. The videos cannot possibly address all of the difficult situations that parents and children face, but they give some examples of behaviors that should be avoided, and better ways of dealing with tricky situations.
The videos focus on emotions, actions, words, and impacts. Each video has three parts: the ‘bad’ way, the adult perspective, and the ‘better way’. The people in these videos are Nova Scotians who are not professional actors, but who agreed to appear in the videos for the benefit of the program.
Notice how easily the children in the videos are placed in the middle of their parents’ issues. Some other things to think about while watching the videos:
notice what people are saying and why
consider how people may be feeling
try not to focus on who is right or wrong, but how the children are feeling
look at how the children respond to their parents
notice the emotions the parents and children are experiencing
think about the adult child’s retrospective, demonstrating the long-lasting effect of parental conflict