Government Launch £2.7 Million Challenge Fund to Tackle Parental Conflict

Published: 10th January 2019

Government Launch £2.7 Million Challenge Fund to Tackle Parental Conflict

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have announced they will be launching a new £2.7 million Challenge Fund that aims to tackle and resolve parental conflict in the UK. As part of the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme, the government-initiated fund will support disadvantaged families who are at risk of parental conflict.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, parental conflict in the family can arise when children suffer from “a lack of warmth and emotional distance”, and it appears in many different forms such as verbal abuse. When children are exposed to these kinds of distresses, it can have an adverse effect on their emotional and social development, and the DWP plan to address these consequences through their £2.7 million Challenge Fund.

The Challenge Fund, which will provide grant funding to innovative projects that help to reduce parental conflict, will allocate such grants through two strands – Support for Disadvantaged Families and Digital Support for Families.

The Support for Disadvantaged Families initiative, which has been allocated £1.1 million of funding, will focus on testing and learning from new or emerging approaches to support disadvantaged families who are at risk of parental conflict. The strand will look at the methods and approaches which practically work when tackling parental conflict, as well as exploring how to support parents when separating in a bid to stop conflict unfolding in the first place.

The second strand within the Challenge Fund, Digital Support for Families, has been granted £1.6 million of funding in order to help parents find support and resources online that will help reduce conflict within the family. The initiative will enable families experiencing parental conflict to self-identify and address problems and issues at home, whilst also taking advantage of resources that may help to minimise conflict.

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson, spoke on the matter, stating that “conflict between parents can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on children, and it’s often caused by external stresses. We want families experiencing problems to have easier access to help.” He later went on to say, “this innovative fund will develop solutions for parents to repair their relationships, resolve any conflict and provide a safer environment for their children to grow up”.

The Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund, which will help to inform future policy and build a broader evidence base of what is effective and what is not when tackling conflict, is part of a wider programme which encourages councils to integrate approaches and resources that help to minimise parental conflict in the UK.

The initiatives should come into full effect by April 2019 and should be fully delivered by March 2020, with the evaluation and final reporting due in April 2020.

Despite the expected success of the £2.7 million Challenge Fund that aims to tackle parental conflict within families, the Department for Work and Pensions continue to look for new initiatives that will safeguard those children who are most at risk.

The team at K J Smith Solicitors have a wealth of experience in all aspects of family law involving children. For more information or to arrange a free 45 minute consultation with a member of our team, please contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01235 375500 (Abingdon) and 01344 513000 (Ascot).

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