Those working in the relationship sector or with families will not need reminding of the impact of parental conflict on children. Sadly, the damage it can cause is all too evident, affecting the mental and physical health of children as well as their long-term life chances.
That is why we are supporting the #SortItOut campaign, calling for immediate action to support parents in recognising and managing conflict. Led by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Supporting Couple Relationships and Reducing Interparental Conflict, the campaign calls on the government to make relationship support free of charge to all parents in ongoing conflict.
It is estimated that 1.25 million children in Britain are exposed to parental conflict and it’s often cited as one of the most common reasons why children contact Childline.
The #SortItOut campaign is already receiving support from many organisations who understand the important role parental relationships play in the long-term development of children. Our Relationships Alliance colleagues at Tavistock Relationships, Relate, and Marriage Care have all given their support alongside many others. ITV’s This Morning and agony aunt Deidre Sanders have also backed the campaign. A full list of supporters is available here.
The campaign is simple in its request. It is calling on the government to:
- Extend the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme across the UK, including a focus on prevention and encouraging parents to seek relationship help early.
- Support local authorities, family hubs, the NHS, family court services, and other settings to offer relationship support services for parents in conflict, and for those whose relationships are heading that way.
- Ensure that assessing for parental conflict is made part of the assessment framework process for child and adolescent mental health services, in counselling services and in schools.
As part of our work to create resources that help parents to recognise and manage stress and conflict in their own relationships, we understand the importance of having access to support early on.
Equipping parents with the skills to listen to each other, speak for themselves, and deal with challenges in a calm, constructive way is essential to maintaining healthy relationships.
We are proud to be backing this campaign and are keen to work with others who share our aim of helping parents sustain and maintain healthy relationships, whether they are together or apart. If you want to know more about what we are dong to help parents #SortItOut, or want to add your voice to the campaign, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.