Two solicitors from the Family Law department at SAS Daniels LLP have teamed up with The College of Law in Chester to help its students provide free legal guidance to help family members struggling to maintain contact with children following family breakdowns.
The Family team will provide pro bono work with The College of Law via their Contact 4 Kids service. This programme is open to parents who are separating and are having difficulty in establishing or maintaining contact with their children, as well as grandparents, same sex couples, civil partners and legal guardians.
Contact 4 Kids initiative was launched by the College last year and provides free information and legal advice alleviating the fear of legal procedures and, when necessary, supporting people through the court process.
Heather Smith, Director of Pro Bono at the Chester centre, said: “We believe all children have the right to family contact in the event of family breakdown. Our aim is to help redress the present inadequacy of publicly funded services by offering a free and fast contact service to everybody regardless of financial circumstances, sexual orientation, race, gender or political and religious beliefs.
“Children are often caught up in the emotional, stressful turmoil of a family breakdown. The need for maintaining relationships and the rights of the child to have contact can often be overlooked.”
“Its an excellent way for students to gain hands on experience of the day-to-day issues that a family solicitor can face whilst giving something back into the community to help those who are unable to help themselves,” said Head of the Family law at SAS Daniels LLP.
“I wholeheartedly support the activities of Contact 4 Kids and very much look forward to mentoring the students as well as helping the people of Chester.”
Clients make an appointment at the centre and are interviewed by the college’s students, who then carry out detailed research into the matter. They draft a letter advising the client of the most appropriate action, which is carefully supervised and checked by a qualified solicitor. During the last academic year 50 students volunteered at the centre and 25 clients were given help.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the services of Contact 4 Kids, which is aimed at the local community in the Chester and wider North West region, can call 01483 216066 in confidence or visit the website at www.college-of-law.co.uk/contact4kids