The last couple of months have seen a surge in progress with the Voices in the Middle campaign of Kids in the Middle.
A Youth Council has been formed and met for the first time on 4 January. The Council will take over the management of VoicesintheMiddle.org.uk – so now it is a website for young people, managed by young people and featuring content created by young people. I’ve wanted that for ages!
Then Lisa Parkinson, the UK’s leading family mediator, has come fully on board with the campaign and has set up an Advisory Council of the great and the good in family law and mediation. This is a big step towards embedding the Voices in the Middle service within the family law and mediation sector. If this sector does not own this project and somehow pay for it long-term, then it will cease to function, as have the three other attempts to provide on-line support to young people in separating families.
The Youth Council has just launched a campaign, calling on the Ministry of Justice and family lawyers and mediators to act on the recommendations of the Voice of the Child report last year. This recommended a good on-line service for young people and called on the sector to make it happen – there has not been any action at all since, hence the need for a campaign.
And just before Christmas we filmed three “voices” videos, one launching the campaign and two conveying the voices of children.
I feel that the work of the Kids in the Middle charity has turned a corner. We have been going nearly three years: did it really have to take so long to get this far? I think so, because our key resource now is recognition and support from the family law and mediation sector, and there is no way to obtain that other than to be persistently active, communicative and friendly over a long period!