A small, local and relatively young mediation firm is celebrating after winning government funding to run courses for separated families. The money is being given to only ten firms nationally as part of a radical overhaul of the Child Maintenance system that was announced in 2012.
Mediation Now will use the money to develop their foundation of helping families work out their own arrangements after separation, rather than trapping them in the current outdated system, which has been shown to be expensive and divisive and does not put children first. The course, which will be offered to couples for 1½ hours over an 8 week period, will be offered free of charge and will run out of the firms offices in Hampshire.
The course focuses on helping separated parents communicate better, to sort out the contact arrangements and avoid conflict, learning tools to deal with managing problems. It also teaches parents about the impact of separation upon children, helping them to minimise the effect on their own children. Mediation Now will also offer help with sorting out child maintenance in the sessions.
Helen Savage, Director and Mediator at Mediation Now, said “I have been supporting separated families for a long time through charity work and mediation but I was becoming despondent about the resources available. With the recent cuts in legal aid, it has been even more difficult for parents to find someone who can give them help during their crisis. I am delighted that the gap is being plugged in Hampshire, which will ultimately help put children at the centre of the family and the community.
She went on “The funding enables us to widen our service, offering free and impartial information to parents, which will help them sort out child maintenance as well as other contact arrangements. All the research shows that when parents are involved in their own decision making, the decisions tend to be longer lasting and lead to better post-separation relationship, allowing for better co-parenting.”
“I have worked in the family law arena for over 20 years as a solicitor, mediator and more recently as an arbitrator” says Claire Webb, Director and Mediator of Mediation Now. “I am really passionate about giving people a voice. I have found that most of the time parents want to make their own arrangements with a minimal disruption to their children and by offering them the right support at and early stage we can help make this happen”.
The first courses are already up and running. Anyone wanting further information or wanting to book an initial assessment meeting should contact us at our Havant office on 023 9248 1183 or by email at email@example.com.