The Family Mediation Trust is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot project to provide Parenting Coordination (PC) to families across Norfolk.
In Canada and the USA, Parenting Coordination has proven to significantly reduce the conflict and improve the deliverability of child court orders. But in the UK building an evidence base to showcase its impact has been difficult due to the high-cost nature of this intensive intervention.
The Family Mediation Trust has developed a £60,000 project, using generous grant support, to trial the delivery of Parenting Coordination with families in Norfolk.
Parenting Coordination works with separated families where there are high levels of conflict, preventing both parties implementing their court orders or parenting plans more effectively which, ultimately, benefits the children’s psychological and emotional wellbeing and development.
His Honour Judge North, Designated Family Judge for Norfolk said "The project has at its heart helping parents to resolve conflict before further harm is caused to the child. As we all know, a long history of inter-parental conflict is not often resolved simply by the making of a final order. This model, which provides a mechanism for building an effective and healthy co-parenting relationship but with the firm and guiding hand of the parenting coordinator who will be able to make decisions on matters of dispute relating to the terms of the order, could potentially be a “game-changer” for some families. It also offers the Court the advantage of keeping some of those cases out of our hearing rooms which frankly ought not to be there at all. I very much welcome this initiative and am confident that we can give it the push that it so deserves."
The project aims, over the next 2 years, to work with 15 families from across Norfolk to provide free or subsidised Parenting Coordination support. At the end of the project the Trust will produce a report that reviews issues such as
The grant support means that parenting co-ordination for those who would be eligible for legal aid mediation will also receive the parental coordination free of charge while those who earn less than the living wage will only be expected to pay £10 per session.
We would like to thank the Norfolk Community Foundation and the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington for providing the grant support for this ground-breaking research project.