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£30m to improve children's life chances

The money will go towards:

  • launching proven parental conflict provision in local areas
  • improving the quality of family services already in place
  • training frontline practitioners in identifying parental conflict and referring families on to appropriate services

The DWP said research suggests that children's emotional, behavioural and educational success is strongly influenced by their parents' relationship, with children whose parents are in long-term, unresolved conflict with one another - whether or not their parents are together - being less likely to do well in school and in adulthood.

Also, that a child is also more likely to do well if they have a close, supportive relationship with their father and this is made more difficult when separated parents are in conflict.

The new initiative, set out in the government policy paper Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families will work with the Troubled Families Programme to support local areas across England to improve the effectiveness of their family services.

The DWP will develop a cost-benefit framework to help demonstrate more clearly for local commissioners the savings that could be made to the public purse from investing in reducing parental conflict.

They will launch an opportunity for organisations to bid to deliver evidence-based work to reduce parental conflict in order to increase the supply of quality services available to local commissioners. 

"Successful bidders will deliver help face-to-face for workless families using interventions which have been shown to make a difference to the quality of inter-parental relationships, and parents' ability to collaborate,"

 

"We will also fund more training for practitioners to deliver proven interventions, including Troubled Families key workers, so that there is more help available to meet the needs of families."

The next stage of the Troubled Families Programme will have a greater emphasis on tackling worklessness and the issues associated with it - such as parental conflict and problem debt.