What do we mean by parental conflict?
In Wakefield we take a whole family approach and are guided by restorative practise. We are committed to helping families make choices and develop their own solutions to the challenges they face. This includes helping parents where there may be parental conflict.
Evidence shows that frequent, intense, and poorly resolved parental conflict can have a negative impact on children’s mental health and long term life-chances.
Parental Conflict can include regular bickering, arguing, and frustration with each other about issues such as money, parenting, or housework. When a child experiences this conflict frequently and it is unresolved, it could result in children feeling upset, confused, or angry, and affect their ability to resolve relationship problems throughout their lives and achieve positive outcomes.
What are we doing in Wakefield?
We are aiming to increase awareness of parental conflict and the impact it can have on children and young people and their outcomes.
Whilst we understand that conflict is an everyday part of life; our aim is to ensure that conflict is constructively resolved and any differences are agreed amicably between adults.
We want families experiencing parental conflict to be supported at the right time, by the right practitioner, to prevent any impact of this conflict on children.
As such, we are part of the ‘Relationship Matters’ programme, alongside a collective across Yorkshire and Humberside, working to reduce parental conflict.
Actions we are taking in Wakefield to do this are:
- Working collaborative with other local authorities across Yorkshire and Humberside to launch a regional website and digital campaign targeted at practitioners and the public.
This can be accessed at www.relationshipmatters.org.uk.
- Providing training and workforce development opportunities around parental conflict for staff.
- Developing a named parental conflict champion within individual organisations and services.
- Working with adult education providers to embed the understanding of parental conflict and the effects this has on children within their programmes.
Who should think about parental conflict?
All practitioners working with families should think about parental conflict. This includes all the organisations, agencies and services working with adults, those working with children and young people, and those who work with families.
This includes but is not limited to health services, the police, the third sector, and local authority services.