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Tavistock Relationships' Parents as Partners programme awarded the highest rating of all interventions reviewed by Early Intervention Foundation

The publication of the Early Intervention Foundation's review today on What works to enhance interparental relationships and improve outcomes for children marks an important step forward in not only recognising the impact of interparental conflict on children but, more importantly, developing and supporting interventions which can improve the life chances of children affected.  As the review states, “Children are affected in different ways across a range of negative outcomes as a result of negative family conditions marked by hostile levels of inter-parental conflict”.

Of the fifteen interventions reviewed by the Early Intervention Foundation, just two received a Level 3 rating: the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships Parents as Partners programme, and the U.S. programme upon which that intervention is based, the Schoolchildren and their Families programme. The Schoolchildren and their Families programme also received a Level 3 for child outcomes; this has significant implications for the future roll-out of Parents as Partners in the UK given that this is the same intervention as the Schoolchildren and their Families programme (see here for further details here). Indeed, the programme's developers, Professors Phil and Carolyn Cowan of the University of California, Berkeley, have commented: “The Parents as Partners Programme uses the same 16-week curriculum as the Schoolchildren and their Families Project - which is essentially the same program as the Becoming a Family programme for new parents, and the Supporting Father Involvement programme for low-income parents. We have worked closely with the team in the UK to ensure that the Parents as Partners Programme maintains fidelity to the intervention approach that we have developed over the past 40 years". Susanna Abse, Chief Executive of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, reacted to the publication of the review by commenting: “This is a hugely important piece of work which we very much welcome. The review recognises what we, and a great many others working towards improving children's outcomes have been saying for many years, namely that the quality of the couple relationships has a profound impact on children's development, and that there should be far more focus – in both research and policy terms – on this key factor affecting children. We are very pleased that the Early Intervention Foundation review has recognised the outcomes which TCCR's Parents as Partners has achieved, and we hope that this review will be the springboard for further investment in programmes of this kind. There has long been a lack of investment in this area of work which has resulted, as this review has found, in a dearth of UK-based evidence. TCCR has for some time now been developing interventions, and measuring outcomes derived from them, to redress this evidence gap.” Honor Rhodes, Director of Strategy of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, commented on the review's findings: "TCCR is delighted that the track record of our Parents as Partners programme has been recognised as a significant source of help for a wide range of families. The manualised programme allows TCCR to train local authority and other staff to use it, and so to generate the additional outcomes associated with the intervention which include improved mental health, reduction in violent problem-solving and greater family stability".

 For further information contact:

TCCR: John Fenna, Head of Marketing & Communications
T:
0207 380 1974 E: jfenna@tccr.org.uk  W: www.tccr.ac.uk            www.tccr.org.uk

Notes to Editor

  1. About TCCR

The quality of our closest relationships profoundly affects how we feel about ourselves and has material and measurable consequences for our lives and those around us – affecting the emotional, cognitive and physical development of our children, our capacity to work and to be fulfilled in work, and our physical and mental health.

Established in 1948 The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) is an internationally renowned charity delivering and developing advanced practice, training and research in therapeutic and psycho-educational approaches to supporting couples.

The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, 70 Warren Street, London W1T 5PB
Registered Charity Number: 211058. Company number: 241618 registered in England and Wales. The Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology

  1. EiF ratings

A Level 3 rating in the Early Intervention Foundation's review indicates an effective intervention at improving couple/inter-parental outcomes (no intervention achieved Level 4 or 5.