We are proud to announce that we are partnering a national campaign which is raising awareness of the importance of listening to the views of children and young people during family divorce or separations.
‘Voices in the middle’ is a national collaboration between young people, the family law sector and The Family Initiative charity to provide an online resource which enables young people aged 13-19 to find help and support when they are experiencing a family divorce.
Why it is so important
Currently one in three young people in the UK see their family split up by the age of 16.
During difficult divorce proceedings, parents often try to keep their children away from any acrimony, yet this distance can lead to children and teenagers feeling left out and unheard.
Research from Resolution showed that just 19% of young people felt that they had a voice and were listened to during a family split.
The Voices in the Middle website has set out to provide teenagers with a space where they will not only be listened to, but they can access to any help or support that they may need as they come to terms with the situation. It is also packed full of resources for parents to help them communicate with their child effectively and ensure that their child’s viewpoint is being listened to.
Speaking of our involvement in the campaign, our CEO Daryl Griffiths said:
“We’re really proud to become a partner of this initiative because at it’s heart, it’s about taking the time to listen to every family member and resolve any issues as amicably as possible. This is an approach that we have long advocated – we believe that resolution is always better than a court scenario.
“There is often a misguided belief that children need to be kept away from any conversations regarding divorce or separation, but we believe that where appropriate, it can be hugely beneficial to involve young people in these discussions – after all, they are directly involved in the situation. It is heart-breaking to think that so many young people feel that they have not been listened to, and that feeling of being pushed aside can only make dealing with the divorce process that much harder.”
As well as supporting families and young people to deal with divorce and separation more effectively, the campaign is also seeking to share best practice guidance with professionals and the government.
Joanne Matthews, Burnett Barker’s Family Lawyer adds:
“On a national scale, we all need to collaborate together more effectively to ensure that the opinions of young people are not only being listened to but are being actively considered. Being able to share best practice guidance and share thoughts and ideas with peers across the UK is a fantastic way of being able to minimise the impact of divorce and separation on younger generations.”
For more information about the Voices in the Middle campaign, visit voicesinthemiddle.com