We take the side of under-served kids in high-conflict family court cases.
Without KidSide many kids would fall through cracks in the legal system, with profound consequences.
The impact of high-conflict court cases, like divorce, domestic violence, or abuse, on children is made much worse due to a lack of support for kids in the legal system. An extended, antagonistic legal dispute can have long-term, negative consequences for the children involved. This dynamic can manifest in poor academic performance and peer relationships, substance abuse, pregnancy, and even suicide. Children from low-income families are considerably more vulnerable as their families cannot access essential support and services to help them cope and begin to heal.
KidSide, a 501(c)3, supports the needs of low-income families referred to Family Court Services, a unit that assists parents and children caught in the web of the Court system in Miami’s 11th judicial circuit. They provide critical assistance, counseling, and other resources to children from low-income families involved in cases like high conflict divorce, paternity, domestic violence, or abuse.
These services help to bridge gaps in the system and afford vital protection for under-served children in crisis. Due to significant underfunding for legal support services, without KidSide, many kids would not have access to these life-changing services, making them even more vulnerable to long-term damage and significant consequences in their lives and communities.
Watch to learn more
Judge Scott Bernstein explain KidSide
KidSide’s impact on children and families
A Father’s Lifeline: How KidSide brought this family together
KidSide Inc. was established in 2000 to assist Family Court Services in Miami-Dade County. This assistance, helps the critically underfunded unit provide essential services and facilities to children who become caught in the conflict of divorce, domestic violence, abuse, and other litigation in the Family Court. For over 12 years, Family Court Services has provided supervised visitation, conflict resolution, parenting coordination, and crisis assistance in the courthouse, as well as referrals to outside providers for counseling and evaluations for children and youth.
In the 2008 recession, cuts in funding for the Court caused services for children and families to be significantly reduced. This made KidSide’s support of the work of Family Court Services even more pivotal. Today, KidSide funds services provided to low-income families and children referred to Family Court Services for court ordered critical services that are not available free of charge. Our goal is to cover the cost of court ordered services for low-income children and families when they are referred to outside providers. Through the vision and support of judges, magistrates, lawyers and other professionals who see the impact of this deficit every day, KidSide has evolved to help to address the funding crisis by funding a range of services and paying for court-ordered hair follicle drug testing, DNA testing, psychological evaluations, and other critical services that are essential to assist the courts in making life-changing decisions that impact the lives of vulnerable children caught in the web of the underfunded court system
In recent years, KidSide has become essential to the survival of Family Court Services by facilitating the resources needed to provide critical services, revamping visitation rooms, and greatly improving the morale of the Family Court Services team.