Mediation voucher scheme may end sooner that expected

The scheme was due to come to be available until the end of March but it may now need to be earlier

The Family Mediation Voucher scheme is due to end this month. We anticipated that vouchers would be available until the end of March 2022. A very recent increase in demand may mean that voucher funding is allocated sooner than this which would mean no further vouchers could be allocated. This does NOT affect any Vouchers that have already been issued.

The Family Mediation Council (FMC) are in regular discussions with the Ministry of Justice about a possible extension of the scheme, but this has not yet been confirmed. 

There are three things to note as a result:

1. The importance of telling clients that voucher funds are limited, with funds allocated on a first come first served basis to eligible applicants. This has always been the case, but it is especially important to emphasise that vouchers cannot be guaranteed at this stage of the scheme.

2. Vouchers aren't being allocated as quickly as they have been in the past. FMC will still endeavour to process requests within seven days, but will not be able to turn requests around in 24/48 hours as has often been the case.  

3. The FMC are going to re-allocate unclaimed, expired vouchers.

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