New projects launched to reduce parental conflict and help families thrive

Thousands of families struggling with parental conflict will receive increased support to improve their relationships, thanks to a £2.8 million government boost

  • Eight new projects launched across England to reduce parental conflict and put children first
  • Funding to target families at risk of conflict and catch problems early, including those with more complex needs
  • Face-to-face and digital support to promote healthier relationships between parents, helping families lead more fulfilling lives

Eight projects from Cornwall to Manchester helping parents to reduce conflict and protect their children’s mental health have received a share of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) funding.

The projects will support a diverse range of parents across England to manage their relationship difficulties, including those with children who have special educational needs; those in rural areas; young parents; LGBTQ+; black, Asian, minority ethnic families, and parents at risk of unemployment.

New programmes and tools will help parents whether they are together or separated, creating more stable communities and supporting employment, in turn helping to grow the economy.

Minister for Work and Pensions Viscount Younger of Leckie said:

“We are stepping up this vital programme to fund innovative initiatives which support a wide range of families with a focus, always, on children’s wellbeing.

“The organisations benefitting from our funding will help parents in early stages of conflict to deal with their difficulties, improve their lives and ensure a stable and healthy environment for the children.”

Successful organisations include: Vennture in Herefordshire, which will collaborate with schools in rural areas where parents struggle to access services, increasing teachers’ awareness of parental conflict and helping families to get support. The Write Time in South London is trialling a six-week programme for parents whose children have special educational needs and disabilities, to develop their relationships and reduce conflict.

As well as local-level interventions, funding has been allocated to two nationwide digital projects which will support parents and practitioners to reduce conflict and protect children.

OnePlusOne will develop a new app to help separating parents. It will provide advice and support on the practical aspects of separation including childcare, financial and legal arrangements as well as online access to professional mediators. Relate is developing digital self-help tools including a chatbot, a free Reducing Parental Conflict toolkit and a resource hub for professionals, including a national database of support services.

Both of these projects will eventually be available to local authorities to help support struggling families and for those working in family law to recommend.

Since launching in 2018, the DWP’s Reducing Parental Conflict programme has been pivotal in finding ways to address relationship distress between parents, to protect children’s mental health.

The programme has supported thousands of couples and separated parents to manage their conflict better, equipping their children to reach their full potential as adults. It has already worked with all local authorities and dozens of organisations in England to lead the way in building a solid evidence base on what works to help families.

Department for Work and Pensions