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£2.7 million fund to tackle parental conflict

The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that aim to reduce the risk of parental conflict.

A £2.7 million fund to increase support for disadvantaged families at risk of parental conflict has been announced by the Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson.

Parental conflict can range from a lack of warmth and emotional distance, right through to verbal abuse. If children are exposed to this sort of distress over longer periods of time, their emotional and social development can be significantly affected. It may stop children from doing as well at school or even impact their career chances in later life.

Children most at risk are those with parents who are out of work, on low incomes, or struggling with physical and mental health conditions.

The fund will be made up of 2 separate strands.

£1.1 million of funding for projects to support families at a greater risk of parental conflict

Parental conflict could be caused by a range of complex issues experienced by families, including debt trouble, divorce and mental health issues. Projects will look at new solutions to address parental conflict as part of these wider family challenges.

Innovation might include suggestions on how local services can work together better or targeted interventions for families.

£1.6 million of funding for digital support to help parents find help online

Pioneering approaches are needed to better improve access to digital support for families at risk of parental conflict.

Grant participants will be asked to develop creative solutions which target digital help at parents with low digital skills and who live in low income and workless households.

The Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund is part of a wider programme which encourages councils across England to integrate approaches addressing parental conflict into their local services for families.

The Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson, said:

“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.

“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 main fund will be managed by Ecorys UK and Family Lives. They will review applications for funding and oversee the delivery of the final projects, taking place between April 2019 and March 2020.

Eligible bidders could include local authorities, digital organisations, organisations from the public and private sector, voluntary and community organisations, and social enterprises.

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