DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
615 Howerton Court
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI
January 26, 2006
|TO:||ALL FSD STAFF|
|FROM:||JANEL R. LUCK, INTERIM DIRECTOR|
MEDIATION ACHIEVING RESULTS FOR CHILDREN (M.A.R.C.H.)
Separated and divorced parents or parents who were never married to each other may be eligible for up to four hours of free mediation services through the program Mediation Achieving Results for Children (M.A.R.C.H.). Provided with a trained mediator, the mediation takes place for the purpose of resolving disputes about any of the following:
|• Parenting time||• Transportation responsibilities|
|• Custody||• Health insurance coverage|
|• Child support||• Other issues related to their children|
M.A.R.C.H. began as a pilot project in October 1997, offering mediation services in 10 counties (five circuits). Now a not-for-profit corporation, M.A.R.C.H. is funded by a federal access and visitation grant with matching state funds.
Entering its eighth year, M.A.R.C.H. is now available to parents in 52 Missouri counties (25 judicial circuits). Parents participating in either the Income Maintenance (IM) or child support enforcement (CSE) programs of the Family Support Division (FSD) may be eligible to participate in M.A.R.C.H. The mediation service has been available to eligible CSE participants in a growing number of counties since its inception. The service is now being offered to IM participants regardless of whether they have CSE involvement.
FSD staff do not formally refer parties to M.A.R.C.H., nor should they alter or stop regular activities when they suggest parties contact M.A.R.C.H. Participation is voluntary. IM staff should consider informing applicants about mediation in situations where the family is not intact (i.e., one parent is not in the household) and there is an indication of unresolved child-related issues between the parents, such as those listed above.
Individuals are potentially eligible for M.A.R.C.H services if either parent lives in a participating county and/or the parents have a child-related order from a participating circuit. CSE staff may review participant eligibility and appropriate times to suggest mediation by referring to CSE-#71 (2003).
FSD staff may inform individuals about M.A.R.C.H. by providing them with a brochure and/or giving them the program's toll-free telephone number (1-800-595-9750) or Internet website address, www.marchmediation.org.
Following is a list of counties (and circuits) where M.A.R.C.H. is now available. Recent additions are noted in bold.
Cape Girardeau (32nd)
New Madrid (34th)
St. Charles (11th)
St. Francois (24th)
Ste. Genevieve (24th)
St. Louis Co. (21st)
New M.A.R.C.H. brochures (assigned reorder number Lit-25) are available through the Jefferson City warehouse. The new brochures do not list participating counties.
FSD staff should direct their questions/comments to their immediate supervisor; others may contact John R. Mier, Policy Development Unit, Family Support Division, PO Box 2320, Jefferson City, MO 65102-2320, [Telephone: (573) 751-7079; e-mail: John.R.Mier@dss.mo.gov].