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Counselling services for the new family justice system

Published: Mon 31 Mar 2014 10:30 AM
Relationships Aotearoa to provide counselling services for the new family justice system
The country’s largest counselling agency, Relationships Aotearoa will provide counselling services as part of the family justice reforms that take effect on 31 March.
Changes to the family justice system will help people resolve disputes about parenting arrangements, without having to go to court.
Relationships Aotearoa will provide counselling for people where this will help to get them ready to take part in Family Dispute Resolution mediation, Chief Executive, Jacqui Akuhata-Brown says.
Family Dispute Resolution is a new mediation service where those taking part work with an independent professional to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of their children.
“We are partnering with national Family Dispute Resolution supplier FairWay Resolution to be a provider of preparatory counselling,” Mrs Akuhata-Brown says.
“Mediation has three parts – assessment to ensure mediation is suitable for a particular case, preparatory counselling if people require it to get the best out of mediation and mediation itself.
“Taking part in preparatory counselling will help many people get the most out of Family Dispute Resolution,” Mrs Akuhata-Brown says.
Relationships Aotearoa has a long tradition of supporting separating couples and families and is also approved to deliver other family justice services.
“We will continue to deliver the free Parenting Through Separation parenting information programme, which has already helped thousands of families understand the needs of their children during separation.
“We have also been approved to deliver in-court counselling, which a Judge can direct if a case goes to court,” Mrs Akuhata-Brown says.
“When separating parents go to court it can create a lot of stress for children so we are pleased to see the additional support available to help people reach their own agreements,” Mrs Akuhata-Brown says.
“We also know from our many years of experience in providing couples’ counselling, that with the right support, separating parents can make good decisions which are both empowering and put children first.”
More information about the family justice system changes and the support available to resolve disputes about parenting arrangements, can be found at www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice .
More information about the services Relationships Aotearoa provides can be found at www.relationships.org.nz .
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