In this episode, Kate was joined by Helen Adam and Kate Stanley to talk about language and divorce.
Kate and her guests discuss the power of language in shaping and reforming social issues and apply this to divorce and separation. The language that is used in policy and in wider society, has a real impact on people who are separating. They explore the changes in language brought in with the Children’s Act, and the move away from ‘battle language’ towards cooperative language, as well as the changes in language brought in with 'no-fault divorce' earlier this year. Finally, Kate and her guests look at other social issues and how shifting the language has had a positive effect.
Helen Adam started her work with separating families as a solicitor in London. These were pre-Children Act days, with battles over custody and residence. Following a career break, she retrained as a mediator and founded Wells Family Mediation. Helen is also chair of the Family Solutions Group (FSG). The FSG presses for coordinated political oversight and funding for separated families. Helen is currently part of an FSG sub-group who are reviewing the language used ‘in the system’ for families who live apart. They will be making recommendations for change away from adversarial vocabulary to language which is more family-focussed, promoting child welfare and safe outcomes for all.
Kate Stanley is Executive Director of FrameWorks UK – a not for profit communications and research organisation that helps mission-driven organisations achieve the social change they seek. From 2011, Kate served as Board Director at NSPCC, for nearly ten years. Previously, Kate was Deputy Director of the leading thinktank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, where she worked closely with academics and organisations to influence government social policy and practice. She has published widely on social policy and advised a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations including the University of Glasgow and UK Research and Innovation, and served on the Steering Group on Early Years advising the Duchess of Cambridge on her work in this field. Kate started her career in international development charities, including Save the Children, working in the UK and overseas. She was awarded a Clore Social Leadership Fellowship in 2010, is a Fellow of the British American Project, and former trustee of Hope and Homes for Children. She holds an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh.
P.S. We're sorry about the sound quality of Kate Stanley's audio. There was a problem with the recording equipment, and it's not up to our usual standard.