Resolution's pioneering Family Matters wins funding extension

09 Mar 2015

Resolution’s pioneering Family Matters pilot service, which helps low income separating families who were previously eligible for legal aid, has been successful in winning a bid for funding to continue the service until September.

Family Matters, funded through the Department for Work and Pensions Innovation Fund, supports families struggling with separation in Newcastle, Crewe and Oxford. The service has helped more than 1,000 people since it began in 2013. Its success has seen Family Matters recently hire three new ‘guides’ – experienced lawyers and mediators who help clients with information, support and referrals.

Resolution’s Family Matters project manager Jane Wilson says:

“We are delighted that Resolution is able to continue to deliver vital support to separating couples for a further six months through our Family Matters service. We’ve helped over a thousand parents so far, and this announcement means we’ll be able to help even more.

“Family Matters uniquely offers both parents information and support to help them work together through their separation, in a way that causes as little disruption as possible to their children.

“Family Matters Guides use their knowledge of the law and skills as mediators to provide a ‘holding hand’ for separating parents at a very stressful time, as well as helping them find other local sources of support.

“The service is free where one parent is receiving a benefit or is earning less than the Living Wage. Since April 2013, we have helped over a thousand parents who otherwise would have had nowhere else to turn.

“This welcome extra funding will enable us to see an additional 478 parents. Our next goal will be to find a way to continue the service beyond September 2015, so that yet more families can be given this crucial support.”

One parent who used Family Matters said:

“Initially it was hard to figure out what to do. As I talked to my Family Matters Guide, things became clearer and I am now comfortable that my partner understands what I am trying to achieve.”

The Department for Work and Pensions allocated £10 million to fund the various Innovation Fund projects when they were introduced in 2013. The results from the projects will be used to design future Government services.