£4m to help councils resolve parental conflict

Councils can apply to the DWP for funding to train frontline staff who regularly come into contact with families facing conflict, so they can intervene at the right time.

The Department for Work and Pension’s Reducing Parental Conflict programme is working with local family services including health and social care, the courts and emergency services such as the police, to help them spot parental conflict, provide initial support and refer parents to further interventions such as therapy for a constructive resolution.

This includes almost £4 million for councils in England to help resolve conflict between parents. Councils can now bid for the new cash so more children can thrive in happier homes - a new cash pot of £3.87 million for councils to help support parents and their families experiencing severe relationship difficulties went live on 6 April 2021. The programme is designed to resolve parental conflict, not domestic abuse. Those in abusive relationships will instead be referred to specialist support.

Nearly nine in 10 councils believe the programme’s practitioner training is important to embedding support into their services and are positive about the programme’s potential to improve outcomes for children in the areas.

DWP Lords Minister Baroness Stedman-Scott said: “Every child deserves the best start in life and this programme aims to do just that by protecting child mental wellbeing through healthier relationships between parents – whether together or separated.

“The pandemic has been a difficult for everyone, with families cooped up or apart from each other for longer periods of time. That makes our work in this area all the more important and this new funding will help councils do even more to support parents.”

DWP is funding councils to increase understanding of these issues at a local level, undertaking innovative projects working with charities and sharing evidence on what works. For example, the successful #SeeItDifferently videos which have attracted almost a million views by parents in court.

The clips emotively showcase through the eyes of children, the emotional damage of arguments between parents, and how differently it could have played out if disagreements were communicated calmly and constructively, resulting in a happier family.

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