NACCC supports campaign for free relationship support to help parents locked in conflict #SortItOut

voiceofthechild

The NACCC team are proud to be supporting the #SortItOut campaign. We are acutely aware of the damage that parental conflict can have on children and the very ethos and existence of accredited child contact centres is to provide a safe place where parenting can continue away from the conflict.

The #SortItOut campaign calls for immediate action to reduce the damaging impact of parental conflict on an estimated 1.25 million children in Britain.

We are backing the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Supporting Couple Relationships and Reducing Interparental Conflict which is calling on the government to make relationship support free of charge to all parents in ongoing conflict.

Family relationships are consistently in the top three most common reasons why children contact ChildLine and campaigners want to highlight the damaging effect of warring parents on children’s mental health.

Research by the Department of Work and Pensions overwhelmingly demonstrates that exposure to frequent, intense and poorly resolved conflict between parents has a long-lasting and negative effect on children’s mental health and development.

This research [1] states that how “couples communicate and engage with each other in managing relationship conflicts both affects their ability to engage in effective parenting practices and can influence children’s mental health outcomes in infancy, childhood, and adolescence, with extended impacts on academic/educational attainment, physical health and well-being, employability, and future relationship stability in later life”.[2]

#SortItOut has the support of a broad spectrum of organisations including Tavistock Relationships, Relate, The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Association of Child Psychotherapists. The Sun newspaper’s Agony Aunt, Deidre Sanders (Dear Deidre – also agony aunt for ITV’s This Morning programme) is also both backing the campaign.

The central objective of the campaign is to ensure relationships support is available – free of charge – to all parents in conflict. We are joining the campaign to call for the following:

  1. Parental conflict to be assessed for in child mental health services and other settings such as schools
  2. Local authorities, NHS services and courts to offer relationship support services to parents
  3. The government Reducing Parental Conflict Programme to be offered nationally

If you would like to help parents #SortItOut you can support the campaign by:


[1, 2] Harold G, Acquah D, Sellers R, and Chowdry H (2016) What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children? DWP ad hoc research report no. 32. London: DWP.

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