Minister calls in on family scheme

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Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb has visited Sheffield law firm Howells to see how it is helping families cope when parents separate.

Howells was awarded £1.4m by the Government in April to run a pilot scheme to help couples resolve their problems without going to court and has aided 200 separated parents since then.

Project manager Sue Colven said “Initial reaction to the pilot scheme so far has been excellent.

“We have been delighted to be able to offer parents free help to encourage agreements about children and finances.

Mr Webb said: “I am very encouraged that Howells has already started helping some 200 separated parents to work together for the sake of their children and avoid the need to go to court.

“This one-stop shop is part of a wider initiative with up to £20m invested in help for separated parents. It is one of seven innovative projects across the country supporting parents to resolve conflict and make decisions in the best interests of their children.”