Charities handed £1m to use digital to tackle parental conflict

The Department for Work and Pensions funding will be used to explore how digital and online tools and resources can be used to help tackle parental conflict and support families.

Joe Lepper | 17th Apr 19
Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Will Quince

Three charities are to share £1m in government funding to use digital tools and content to address parental conflict.

The money has been handed to digital inclusion charity the Good Things Foundation, Action for Children and One Plus One Marriage and Partnership Research through the Department for Work and Pensions’ Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund.

This has been set up to help disadvantaged parents and children in homes affected by conflict.

Key target groups are families on low income and with health issues, who the DWP says are among those most of risk of parental conflict.

Improving access to support

The Good Things Foundation has received £650,000 to help families experiencing content have better access to online support.

This will involve working in partnership with relationship charity One Plus One Marriage and Partnership Research to create new online content for families.

For this project families will be asked what content about family conflict resolution appeals and how they want to receive such information.

“We know that digital learning content, whether accessed alone or alongside community support, can have a significant impact improving people’s life skills,” said Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation.

“Good Things Foundation is really pleased to be working with relationship experts One Plus One on this programme, co-designing digital content which will reach out to parents and help them to build their relational capability to reduce parental conflict and the impact it has on children.

“The DWP Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund has given us the chance to collaborate across the sector, as well as working with parents to ensure that the programme is engaging and effective.”

One Plus One Marriage and Partnership Research Director Penny Mansfield added: “We know from our experience that when we help to reduce parental conflict, the relational capability skills that parents learn assists them in all other areas of life too. This programme is therefore a great opportunity to reach a wider range of parents using the Good Things Foundation’s excellent approach to learning.”

Health visitors to use digital tools

Additionally, One Plus One Marriage and Partnership Research has received £250,000 for a separate project to use digital tools to be used by health visitors to support families affected by conflict. A total of 300 health visitors will be trained to use the technology to identify couples at risk or who are experiencing conflict and helping families improve their communication and coping skills.

Action for children has received £156,000 to explore how parents experiencing conflict engage with technology. This aims to deliver useful online resources through mobile phones using social media.

A total £2.2m has been handed out though the Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund, including projects to support prisoners returning home and parents with alcohol and drug problems.

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Will Quince said: “We know children exposed to harmful levels of parental conflict often have poorer social and emotional development, impacting their performance in school and in later life.

“We’re committed to changing this, and ensuring that parents can access support to resolve conflict.

“It’s encouraging that so many organisations have come forward to help us collect evidence and test different, innovative approaches to support affected families.”