Case Study

Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund

Client: Department for Work and Pensions | Sectors: Social Policy

The Challenge Fund was part of the multi-million pound Reducing Parental Conflict programme - a major England-wide initiative to improve outcomes for children by reducing the damaging impact of parental conflict. 

The Challenge Fund, which awarded grants worth £3 million, was managed by Ecorys on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions in partnership with Family Lives. 

The Challenge Fund had two streams: one funding 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 base on what works by gathering learning where there is currently no hard evidence.  In 2020, projects had to adapt delivery to meet the lockdown and social distancing requirements implemented because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Projects finished their activities in March 2021.

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. 

The learning report from phase one of the Challenge Fund is available on A further report collating learning from the final nine months of Challenge Fund project delivery will be published at a later date. 

Key Experts

Kate Smith Senior Research Manager