We – the Voices in the Middle Youth Council – are launching a petition to the leaders of family law and mediation and to the Ministry of Justice.
Are you a young person, a family lawyer, a family mediator, a parent, a grandparent, a politician, a celebrity? Please help us to make a change that will help thousands of young people when their parents are splitting up!
We, the Youth Council of the Voices in the Middle campaign, call on all family lawyers and mediators to work out a way of funding a permanent authoritative website for young people managed by young people and promoted on-line, in the broadcast media, through schools and communities and by you to the parents you work with.
We call on the Ministry of Justice to increase the provision of child-inclusive family mediation by extending Legal Aid Agency funding to cover the additional costs of including children and young people in family mediation, where either one or both parents have qualified for legally aided mediation.
In March 2015, a Government commissioned Voice of the Child report was published and the Ministry of Justice subsequently endorsed this recommendation from the report:
High quality, consistent, accessible and age-appropriate information should be made available for all children and young people experiencing parental separation…… An authoritative website and on-line tools should be developed in collaboration with young people and supported by a range of services to provide a dedicated ‘place to go’ for all children and young people at all stages of their parental separation journey….Information should be cascaded through the use of social media, advice columns (including Agony Aunts), schools and community hubs.
The report’s main recommendation was to increase the provision of child inclusive family mediation, in which young people’s voices are heard.
But nothing happened about these particular recommendations!
The report also said that family lawyers and mediators should work together and that young people should take a lead – and the Ministry of Justice endorsed that recommendation too. We are taking that lead – we are managing this website – and we are asking family lawyers and mediators to work together with each other and with us to make this happen.
Watch the campaign video here: