....one in three of us!
But three helplines have recently closed. Government has no money.
No-one is doing anything about it - so an alliance of teenagers and professionals working with separating families is raising funds to create something new.
"We are a group of 20 students in two schools, Hereford Cathedral School and Crickhowell High School. We are launching a national fundraising campaign, backed by judges, lawyers, barristers and mediators."
Or donate by text! Text "KITM88 £10" to 70070. (You can choose a different amount when you text.)
It will be the first service for children ever launched with funds raised entirely by teenagers' campaigns!
The project has fantastic support from family court judges, family lawyers, barristers, Cafcass and others - people who see kids in the middle every day. We have recorded some of their endorsements here.
Thanks to our first legal donors!!
This is a big leap of faith. But is there any other way to fill the gap that has opened up?
Kids in the Middle will be a place where the experiences of children in separating families can be told, a place where they can find re-assurance from their peers that their situation is not their fault and that it is OK to seek support. They will find expert advice and signposts to places where they can get further help of different kinds. Kids in the Middle will be built with young people who have themselves been in the middle.
Every penny you donate will go directly to providing a vital one-to-one on-line service to support young people. We cannot do this without you!
Please join other family lawyers, mediators and barristers to create new supports for children and young people in separating families, and build a new national shop window for low-conflict methods of dispute resolution. This is a big collaborative effort among those who understand the need the most. Please join in – and a big opportunity for promoting your business locally.
Over 100,000 children experience the separation of their parents every year – nearly half of all 16 year olds have experienced it. Remarkably, there is no direct on-line support for these children and young people. Family lawyers and mediators are constantly confronted with the problem of not having enough material for the children themselves.
Furthermore, lawyers and mediators continue to face considerable challenges in promoting mediation, collaborative law and other such forms of dispute resolution. Kids in the Middle is an answer to this challenge, recruiting children and young people as advocates for less conflict, which is what they want and need the most.
The vision is that Kids in the Middle becomes a widely recognised brand with a website that hundreds of thousands of children and young people visit and where they will get the perspective of children and young people who have already been through the experience and be signposted onto different kinds of support, on-line and local.
And we know that parents in large numbers will follow them. We want parents to be exposed to the full force of the child’s perspective and we want them to consider low-conflict forms of dispute resolution, for the sake of their children.
The proposal to you
We would like to ask you to find some young people and set up a joint fundraising campaign with them. And then build a PR strategy around this to raise awareness and your profile.
See the current list of firms supporting us - they are "Founding Partners".
The young people can do the actual sponsored event and you can promote it through your networks. Then use the story to create positive PR for you. And at the same time, you can all participate in an on-line forum about the design of the new on-line service, going on in parallel.
In more detail…..
1. Find a young person or a few young people.
We think family law students are a very good place to start - they want to connect with firms. (Our approaches to law schools so far have been very positive indeed.) If the students have dissertations to write, could they look at some aspect of the child’s experience of family law, or best practice in working with children? We need more knowledge on this front!
Duke of Edinburgh is another possibility (you can find the regional coordinator in your area on Google). A school that you are connected with already is another possibility. Or a youth group (e.g. Scouts/Guides). Or your own children, or children of colleagues. All these are things that our existing supporters are already doing.
To help you, here are some draft emails, letters and presentations that others have used to find young people: Materials to help with finding local young people.
2. Back the young fundraisers
You just have to focus on promoting the campaign through your business/family/friend networks, asking for (generous!) donations. We will invite the young people into an on-line forum where they will get ideas and advice on fundraising.
3. Make a story
You can promote the campaign (and your backing of it!) in the local media - this is a good opportunity for positive PR and building your profile locally. You can piggy back on this the promotion of collaborative law, mediation and other such supports for separating families. In Wales, smaller law firms who have fundraising campaigns are collaborating on the PR in order to make a bigger impact. The more noise the better - because raising awareness is also what all this is about.
Please come on board! Kids in the Middle really needs you – and we think the need is mutual!
Please email us!