Helping parents move away from courts to negotiate instead
This innovative pilot project, supported by funding from The Department for Work and Pensions, aims to help separated parents work together and resolve ongoing conflict to better support their children.
It aims to divert parents away from courts where appropriate, and help them negotiate instead.
It is running in three pilot areas until March 2015: Berkshire, Herefordshire and West Yorkshire.
Delivered by specialist mediators, accredited by the Legal Aid Agency, the scheme will raise awareness of non-confrontational methods of resolving family breakdown, including family mediation.
It seeks to assist hundreds of parents who have been separated for more than two years, and who are currently undergoing court processes over child-related issues.
• It is free to parents
• It takes no longer than eight weeks
• We will run a mediation information and assessment meeting with each client in court, possibly followed by a short mediation
• Each party is offered a two hour conflict reduction module with coaching
• Further sessions will be held at our service premises within four weeks of the first meeting
• A review meeting will take place at eight weeks to check on progress
This programme can be particularly effective in cases where there has been domestic abuse and / or child protection issues although we take advice from The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to determine which cases might be suitable for this project.