Govt commitment on Voice of Child welcomed - but legal aid cuts pose risk

News Release

25 Jul 2014

Resolution welcomes Government commitment on Voice of the Child, but legal aid cuts risk undermining aim.

Speaking in response to the Family Justice Minister, Simon Hughes MP's, commitment to involving children more in family court hearings, Resolution's Chair Jo Edwards said today:

"We welcome the Minister's commitment to giving children a greater voice in the family justice system. Resolution members work day in, day out, to help separating parents put the needs of their children front and centre - this is at the heart of our Code of Practice.

"Whether it's through Resolution's government-funded Family Matters pilots, or our training for mediators so they can involve children in the process - our members are committed to ensuring that children come first. So anything the government can do to support this is to be welcomed.

"Sadly, with fewer parents able to access legal support as a result of the cuts to legal aid, and publicly-funded mediation numbers on the decline, there is a risk that the increased pressure on the family courts could undermine this commitment.

"We look forward to working with the Minister and others in government to help them achieve their aim, and our members will continue to support separating parents in minimising the conflict between them and, in turn, reduce the impact of separation on children."