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MARCH MEDIATION
105 E Mill, Suite B
Liberty MO 64068
Ph: 800.595.9750
Ph: 816.792-9989
Fax: 816.792.3885

 

HISTORY OF MARCH

 
The idea for M.A.R.C.H. grew out of a conversation at a judicial conference in September 1996, which included Judge Ralph Haslag, Terri Dichiser and Donna Devine. Subsequent conversations occurred with representatives from the four judicial circuits most active in utilizing grant funds from the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator for mediation. Those conversations led to the formation of the M.A.R.C.H. Committee, which met for the first time in November 1996. The Committee was headed from the beginning by Judge Haslag. 
 
The name of M.A.R.C.H.--Mediation Achieving Results for Children--was suggested by Judge Daniel Chadwick. 
 
In the spring of 1997, an application was approved by the M.A.R.C.H. Committee and sent to the Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement (now Division of Family Support) to conduct a pilot project in the 7th, 16th, 23rd, and 25th Judicial Circuits, which include a mix of urban and rural populations. The goal was to measure the potential benefits of using mediation to help divorced and never-married, separated parents resolve visitation, custody, child support and other disputes cooperatively and in the best interest of their children. 
 
A grant in the amount of $220,000, consisting of $170,000 in federal funds and $50,000 in state funds, was received by M.A.R.C.H. to fund the program's first year, which began on October 1, 1997. At the request of Judge John Grimm and State Representative Mary Kasten, the 32nd Judicial Circuit was added to the original circuits. During its first year, M.A.R.C.H. served parents in the judicial circuits which included Clay County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Phelps, Pulaski and Maries Counties, and Cape Girardeau, Perry, and Bollinger Counties. 
 
In October 1998, the program received an increase in funds to expand its services to the 11th, 13th, and 33rd Judicial Circuits during its second year, including St. Charles County, Boone and Callaway Counties, and Scott and Mississippi Counties. 
 
In the summer and fall of 1999 M.A.R.C.H. saw a flurry of change as we transformed from a “pilot” project into a more permanent solution to the problems parents have with access to parenting time with their children, among other parenting issues. In September 1999, M.A.R.C.H. officially became M.A.R.C.H., Inc., a Missouri not-for-profit corporation. With this new corporate structure a permanent board of directors was put in place, with a director from each of the nine circuits who made up the program at the inception of the corporation. The board immediately acted to enhance the organizational structure of the program as we began our third full year.  
 
September 1999 also saw the creation of the position of Executive Director of the corporation who would act as the chief representative for the organization and supervise the day-to-day operations. The third year of M.A.R.C.H. also saw the addition of two new judicial circuits, the 6th, including Platte County, and the 24th, including St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Washington, and Madison Counties. 
 
With the addition of the six judicial circuits in the fall of 2003, M.A.R.C.H., Inc., now operates in 20 judicial circuits encompassing 42 counties throughout the State of Missouri. M.A.R.C.H. has received requests from several other judicial circuits for program services. Division of Family Support has included funds in its current budget request which would allow M.A.R.C.H. to expand services to five additional circuits encompassing 13 counties in Missouri for the program year beginning in October, 2001. Moreover, Division of Family Support has dedicated itself to continued expansion of the program throughout the State of Missouri until every parent involved in the support enforcement process has access to mediation services to properly address their concerns about being involved in their children’s lives. 

 
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