I’ve just been reading a book by Paul Dix called “When the Adults Change, Everything Changes”. It’s all about behaviour in school and how by taking relational approaches rather than disciplinary ones we get better outcomes for children and the school. I recommend it!
This made me reflect on what the government’s Reducing Parental Conflict Programme and the Troubled Families Programme have in common. Both programmes aim to change the behaviour of parents which will improve the lives of children now and through to adulthood.
Across 30 local authority areas, the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme is offering access to interventions that seek to reduce parental conflict and create happier homes for children. But for provision like this to really make a difference for children, keyworkers and family support staff in all sorts of organisations need to be more aware of the impact of the inter-parental relationship on children, and how they can help. Strengthening this understanding will help them to support families in taking steps towards making their homes better places for children to grow up in.
The Department of Work and Pensions are making sure that the new evidence about the impact of inter-parental conflict is shared with the wider workforce. 148 local authority areas now have access to practitioner training that also supports workers in how to frame questions about family life, what to do if conflict emerges as an issue and how to help. Within each local area’s approach to delivering the Troubled Families Programme, there will be people who can benefit from this training - adding to their toolkit about what can help as we support families to change.
Both elements are available at no cost to organisations and have been resourced centrally. Your local authority’s reducing parental conflict lead will be able to help you to access them, or you can get in touch with your Regional Integration Lead.
Through reading Paul Dix’s “When the Adults Change, Everything Changes” we can all be reminded that behaviour in school is often a manifestation of other things going on in a child’s life. Our endeavour is to make children’s lives better at home, in school, and for the rest of their lives.
Senior Ambassador for the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme