Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb visited Howells Solicitors today (24th Oct) to see first hand how we are helping families cope when parents separate.
£1.4m of funding was awarded to Howells Solicitors in April 2013 to help couples resolve their problems and come to their own arrangements for their children without resorting to the courts.
To date, Howells has helped over 200 separated parents in South Yorkshire benefit from extra support to help them to work together for the sake of their children with access to free family mediation, counselling, and legal advice on all the issues thrown up by separation.
One parent who has benefited from the scheme, said “with it being a very difficult time, (the scheme) made things seem a lot less daunting. I found the counselling to be brilliant as it helped me out with the troubles that come with separating.”
Department for Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:”I am very encouraged that Howells has already started helping some 200 separated parents to work together for the sake of their children, and avoid the need to go to court.
“This ‘one stop shop’ is part of a wider initiative seeing up to £20m invested in help for separated parents. It is one of seven innovative projects across the country supporting parents to resolve conflict and make decisions in the best interests of their children.”
Project Manager Sue Colven from Howells Solicitors said “Initial reaction to the pilot scheme so far has been excellent. We have been delighted to be able to offer parents free help to encourage agreements about children and finances. I would encourage as many parents as possible to ring us on 0114 404 0606 to take advantage of the service before our funding ends in March 2015. ”
The award is part of an initial £6.5m fund for creative and targeted help by seven organisations that will support over a quarter of a million separated parents in Britain. As part of up to £20m dedicated to supporting separated families the project represents a substantial increase in government funding for out-of-court support for separated parents by the government.
Left to right; Cathy Urwin (Family Mediation Yorkshire), Department for Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb, Sue Colven (Project Manager at Howells Solicitors), Bryan Thornton (Solution Focus Sheffield), Alyson Siddall (Head of Family Department at Howells Solicitors).