Innovative project to support separated and separating parents

12 April 2013

Separated and separating parents in the UK will soon be able to receive ‘virtual’ coaching to support them in working together in the interests of their children.

Relationship charity OnePlusOne has received £1.5m from the Department for Work and Pensions for the online provision – supported in some areas with face-to-face coaching – to enable them to work in Kent, Lincolnshire, Angus, Stirlingshire, Wrexham and Conwy. It will be working in partnership with Home-Start UK and the Family Matters Institute, which will provide off-line support via telephone and face-to-face contact.

The innovative project will work with 7,000 parents and will use a behavioural model, encouraging parents to work with their ex-partner and complete a parenting plan.

Penny Mansfield, Director of OnePlusOne, said: “This project will help coach and support separated and separating parents through what can be one of the most challenging times in their life. We will provide tailored assistance to mums and dads to overcome barriers and find sustainable and workable agreements for them and their children.”

Sara Vaughan, Director of Networking Funding and Partnership Development, from Home-Start UK, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with OnePlusOne on this project. Home-Start has forty years’ experience of supporting families through emotional and practical difficulties. Separation is an extremely difficult time for the whole family and our volunteers will be trained to work with parents, either by telephone or in face-to-face conversations, to help them manage the challenges they face.”

Matt Buttery, Chief Executive of Family Matters Institute, said: “We know that when families break down it can so often be a very painful time for everyone involved.  Through our service we support many separating dads to maintain positive and constructive relationships, and therefore are really excited about the opportunity to work with both mums and dads to come up with joint plans for their children’s future.”

For more information visit the OnePlusOne website here.

Parents can also find help and support on the ParentConnection.

To find out more about the work of Home-Start here.

Information from the Family Matters Institute is available here.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Penny Mansfield or one of the partners, please contact Lynne Milford on 0207 553 9530 or email