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Tavistock Relationships’ Parents in Dispute (PiD) programme, which works with long-term separated families in entrenched conflict involving the family courts, is featured in the May 2018 version of the Ministry of Justice’s independent, externally peer-reviewed journal, the Family Justice Research Bulletin.

The bulletin reports that the service, which uses mentalization-based therapy, successfully engaged divorced and separated couples locked in entrenched conflict and made a ‘statistically significant improvement’ in their parenting.

The Bulletin highlighted the that the programme, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions as part of their ‘Help and Support for Separated Families’ initiative and delivered by Tavistock Relationships with aid from Cafcass, provided successful outcomes for couples entrenched in ongoing acrimonious conflict which was having damaging effects on the well-being of their children.

The journal noted that the programme was successful in engaging both parents and enabling them to attend sessions together. in all, 92% parents attended the assessment and at least one further regular session.

In addition, it remarked that the “demand for the service exceeded initial expectations, thus identifying a huge area of unmet need for parents in dispute over their child arrangements.”

In its editorial the MoJ bulletin editor remarked that such studies offer “important learning for policy-makers to consider when developing services to help families, particularly parents in conflict, put the needs of their children first.”

You can read the bulletin here and the full summary of the work of the Parents in Dispute Programme can be found here.