Department for Work and Pensions
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£3.6 million fund launched for projects to help parents reduce conflict

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is seeking bidders for a slice of its new £3.6 million Challenge Fund to improve parents’ access to conflict support.

  • Bidding process for share of £3.6 million fund to help families where children are exposed to conflict
  • Local authorities, digital firms and expert public, private and voluntary sector organisations invited to bid
  • Projects must support disadvantaged parents and those with complex needs, or any parent needing support through digital and interactive self-help tools

Successful bidders will receive a minimum £150,000 grant to back their projects, between June 2023 and November 2024.

The application window opens today (16 January), closing on 24 February 2023. Potential applicants must also complete an eligibility check by 8 February.

Applicants can include local authorities or other public sector organisations, private sector companies working in digital for example, or social enterprises, voluntary or community organisations.

Bidders’ projects will need to fall into one or both of the following strands:

  • projects that support diverse families at a greater risk of parental conflict
  • projects that use digital tools to support parents experiencing conflict and/or self-guided tools that central government could integrate into its services

Since launching in 2018, the DWP’s Reducing Parental Conflict programme has been pivotal in finding ways to address relationship distress between parents, to protect children’s mental health.

The programme supports couples and separated parents to reduce conflict, so their children have healthier environments to grow up in and can reach their full potential as adults.

The programme has already worked with all 152 local authorities in England and dozens of organisations to lead the way in building a solid evidence base on what works to help families.

Minister for Work and Pensions Viscount Younger of Leckie said:

Conflict between parents can have a lasting impact on children, affecting their school grades and life chances.

Our projects are guided by the expertise of those working closest with families, who often witness the impact of conflict on children and can support with solutions.

With the launch of our new £3.6 million Challenge Fund, I look forward to seeing the innovative, workable ideas of experts so we can help more families overcome difficulties and improve their lives.

The main fund will be managed by Ecorys UK in coordination with other government departments’ programmes including Family Hubs and Supporting Families. Ecorys UK will review applications for funding and oversee the delivery of final projects.

For more details about applying to the Reducing Parental Conflict programme’s Challenge Fund 2, please visit the website.

Further information

  • The DWP’s Reducing Parental Conflict was launched in 2018 to support children growing up around difficult relationships at home – whether their parents are together or separated
  • The Reducing Parental Conflict programme understands how exposure to frequent, intense, and poorly resolved conflict can lead to much poorer life outcomes for children – their educational attainment, emotional and social development and later life employability
  • The programme seeks to address parental conflict below the domestic abuse threshold
  • The Government has committed up to £33 million to continue running the programme between 2022 and 2025
  • DWP’s research on Reducing Parental Conflict
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