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Organisation praised for its work helping relationships, parents and children

The value of counselling and psychotherapy and the help it provides for couples and children was highlighted today in Parliament in a speech by the Rt. Hon. Caroline Nokes MP.

In a Westminster Hall debate on 2 February for Marriage Week, the Minister talked about a range of issues the Government is pursuing around the themes of how to help couples, their relationship and the family unit.

Amongst the many points put to the house, the Minster acknowledged the impact of couple conflict upon children:

“When it comes to the critical issue of improving children’s outcomes, the evidence shows that it is not the structure of a family that is important but the quality of the relationship between the parents. Recent research by the Early Intervention Foundation has shown that children exposed to frequent, intense and poorly resolved inter-parental conflict have poorer outcomes in later life. We also know that an improvement in parenting skills does not mitigate the worst effects if relationship issues are not addressed.”

The Early Intervention Foundation research referred to by the Minister is a review in which Parents as Partners – our group work programme for parents, which focuses on improving couple relationship quality and children’s outcomes – was given the highest rating of all programmes assessed.

Further emphasising the importance of relationship support as an intervention, the minister went on to talk about the forthcoming Green Paper, saying that the Government“ will soon announce plans to procure new services to help disadvantaged parents, and others, to address parental conflict.”

Ms Nokes directly recognised the role that the Relationships Alliance (of which Tavistock Relationships is a core member) has played in providing key expertise to Government around this policy area, as well as service delivery:

“I acknowledge the great work of the community of organisations that advise my Department on family and parental conflict issues. I recognise the great breadth and depth of experience they have in this area. In seeking to draw on their valuable experience, on 23 January I met members of the Relationships Alliance—Relate, Marriage Care, OnePlusOne and Tavistock Relationships. We enjoyed a really productive and informative discussion about the challenges involved in addressing parental conflict, including in the most disadvantaged families, and the new national development of this important work.”

The full debate can be read on Hansard here. National Marriage Week runs from 7-14 February