Liz Edwards, the Chair of Resolution, has launched a new scheme called ‘Family Matters’ at a recent conference of family law practitioners. The pilot scheme, which will initially operate in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Crewe and Oxford, has been created to provide guidance and advice for parents who are separating but who do not qualify for legal aid.
Advisors who will be known as ‘Family Matters Guides’ and will work with parents who are in the process of separating or who have already separated, to help them reach constructive agreements together whilst putting the needs of their children first.
As part of their role, Family Matters Guides will also support parents in helping to find access to other services in their local area that they may not have been aware of. Family Matters Guides will have specialist knowledge of family law and will be able to offer sensitive, tailor-made support and information to help parents achieve the best possible outcomes for their families after family breakdown.
When she announced the Family Matters pilot scheme, Liz Edwards said:
â€œThis exciting new project builds on the approach that Resolution and its members have taken over the past 30 years: helping people manage separation and divorce in a way that minimises conflict and puts children first.
â€œOur long term aim is that this will provide a model for supporting separating families that can be replicated nationwide.
â€œResolution’s Family Matters ‘Guides’ will be using their skills as trained mediators, combined with a thorough understanding of family law, to support people going through separation and provide them with the advice and support they need at a very difficult time. The emphasis is on enabling separating families to maintain lines of communication and reach agreements together.â€
The pilot scheme is set to receive more than Â£650,000 of funding from the Department of Work and Pensions as part of a fund set up to offer support to divorced and separated parents.