Project aims to ease pain of separation

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Sheffield law firm Howells hosted a visit from a Government minister to discuss a pioneering project which has helped more than 200 separating parents and families.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb visited to see how £1.4m of funding is being spent by the firm on a project to resolve problems and for parents to come to their own arrangements for children without resorting to the courts.

He wanted to see how the scheme has been running and how families are coping.

A Howells spokesman said: “Parents have received extra support to help them to work together for the sake of their children with access to free family mediation, counselling and legal advice.”

Mr Webb said: “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.”

Project manager Sue Colven, from Howells Solicitors, said: “Initial reaction to the pilot so far has been excellent.”

■ For details of the Howells project, call 0114 404 0606.