Reducing Parental Conflict

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The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) conference on 25th June 2019 brought  together government, local government, charities and other organisations who are working to reduce parental conflict for thousands of families across the country. See more information from the government department the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) below.  

The evidence surrounding the impact of parental conflict on children has been around for decades, as shown in our archives and going back to the work of our founder Dr Jack Dominian. However, the most effective ways to implement the evidence with families still requires development. The EIF are gathering data, practical guidance and case studies to improve knowledge about ‘what works’.  This is part of government’s investment of over £30 million in this field in the Improving Lives agenda with theDepartment of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care.

OnePlusOne and the Innovation Unit delivered the seminalLocal Family Offer reducing parental conflict pilot programme with 12 local authorities around the country. It was really great to hear the EIF panel speakers refer to this work and use key phrases that we created with the local authorities during that programme. Our findings from the evaluation of the Local Family Offer have informed the new DWP programme of work and we have gone on to win government funding for further innovation projects to reduce parental conflict within families.

The EIF did a brilliant job bringing so many people together. It really is the case that we all need to work together to make a real difference and extend the message that   

The Department for Work and Pensions provided a short note on what they felt the conference delegates should know:

·     Some conflict between parents is normal but when conflict is frequent, intense and poorly resolved it can harm children’s mental health, outcomes and life chances, whether the parents are together or separated.

·     Clear evidence shows parental conflict can lead to poorer outcomes for parents and their children, which can result in wider costs to the economy and society as well as increased pressure on public services.  However, we know that support to reduce parental conflict is not always available to families locally.

·     In 2015-16, around 1 in 10 children in families where parents were living in the same household were exposed to potentially damaging levels of parental conflict.

·     A list of interventions have been identified that have successfully helped parents improve their relationships, leading to improved outcomes for their children. By working together we can better understand the challenges of addressing parental conflict effectively and share learning on how to make a difference.

·     We are continuing to test different approaches and share this learning, and we are working with the EIF and academics to see what has been achieved around the world.

·     A Challenge Fund (OnePlusOne is involved with this) recently awarded £2.2m of grant funding to 10 innovative projects to gather learning on what works to reduce parental conflict digitally and for families where the children face other disadvantages www.reducingparentalconflictfund.co.uk  

·     Working closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England to address the issue of alcohol misuse, which is often a major contributor to parental conflict. Together we are delivering a joint £6m package of support aimed at improving the outcomes of children of alcohol dependent parents, including a £4.5m Innovation Fund which is delivering in 9 local authority areas. (OnePlusOne is involved with one of these projects).

·     Providing learning to inform future policy development on digital support to parents from the user research: www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-parental-conflict-a-digital-discovery

We will keep you up to date with our programmes and please get in touch if you have any queries.

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1087994

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