Bridging Family Breakdown

Children and Families Consultation


Removing the obstacles to effective parental co-operation – ‘in the beginning is the conversation’

Family Mediation Centre Staffordshire offers a new tailor made service involving highly experienced mediators, counsellors, lawyers and psychologists.

The Aim

We aim to provide fresh opportunities for individuals, ex-partners, step-parents or extended families who cannot make immediate use of the mediation process because they are too stuck in legal or other conflict. Such families can often benefit from a ‘fresh start’ in a new approach to dealing with problems. There may need to be some consideration with them of some or all of the following: past influences in their lives, individual histories, “family scripts”, previous and present relationships and significant events: in other words, the roots of entrenched disputes, and the factors that may be maintaining these conflicts. A clear focus would be on the advantages for children if parents and families can be helped to find a way to renew and repair communication, to heal or set aside past hurts, and to work co-operatively to sustain a healthy practical and emotional environment for themselves and their family. We would offer individual and/or joint consultations, usually with two or more of us working together.

We will offer an individualised package including all or some of the following elements:

  • Information, guidance and consultation
  • Child inclusive mediation
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Assessment of pathways, options, suitability and capacity to co-operate
  • Direct or indirect involvement of other professionals, including Cafcass, Social Workers, lawyers and therapists.
  • And, of course, mediation

Costs: There is no public funding (Legal Aid) available for this type of work. We generally charge our standard mediation rate of £126 per person per hour but if a co-mediator is required which is usually the case in these matters we would charge more.  However, funding from other sources (such as local authorities) may be available on a case by case basis, and we are always willing to talk about what is realistic in terms of ability to pay and family need. We have found this model particularly attractive to families who have already spent significant sums in legal proceedings.

First steps

Whether you are an individual (parent, grandparent, step-parent, extended family member) or a lawyer, Judge, or employed by Cafcass or Social Services, please get in touch with our office for an initial telephone conversation with one of our Administrator/ Directors Emma, or Gerry.


Our Consultant for this project is Brian Cantwell, of the Children and Families Consultation Group in Hexham. Brian has written about and practised widely in the field of “stuck” parental relationships. In many ways we operate as joint pioneers in this field, and also offer consultancy to professionals in individual cases of complexity. Brian can be contacted through us.