Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund

Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund

More than 1,600 families and welfare professionals benefitted from the multi-million pound Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund – part of a major England-wide initiative to improve outcomes for children by tackling parental conflict.

The Challenge Fund, which awarded grants worth £2.8 million, was managed by Ecorys on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions in partnership with Family Lives.

Two streams of funding were involved – one for projects which provided support to particular cohorts of disadvantaged families and another to develop new ways to engage families in conflict digitally. The aim of both streams was to build the evidence-based on what works by gathering learning where there is currently no hard evidence.

In 2020, projects had to adapt delivery to meet the challenges of lockdown and social distancing requirements implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects finished their activities in March 2021.

More than 830 families took part in these pilot projects, receiving help and support to address and overcome their issues, with more than 850 frontline professionals receiving training or taking part in learning events organised by the funded projects.

Resources produced by projects focusing on digital support and solutions to this issue were accessed more than 800,000 times during the programme.

One child who took part in the project described the impact on their family.

“I would say that things are a lot better, we are a lot happier because they (the parents) are a lot happier. People are actually saying what they feel now and it’s not like we have all this passive-aggressive stuff around all the time.”

Ecorys was awarded the contract in November 2018 to manage the full grant lifecycle of the scheme, which launched in January 2019. Our key responsibilities included promoting the scheme, managing the application, assessment and grant award processes, project support and monitoring, making payments, and reporting.

Learning reports on phase one and phase two of the project have been written and published and are available to read and download on GOV.UK.