Specialist training funded by the Department of Health will equip practitioners digitally and face to face to support families

Tavistock Relationships, in partnership with the charities Adfam and One Plus One, is one of organisations awarded funding by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department of Work and Pensions to deliver a range of innovative face-to-face and digital services as part of a major new initiative to help families affected by alcohol dependence and interparental conflict.

This partnership between Tavistock Relationships, Adfam and One Plus One will improve outcomes for children in families affected by interparental conflict in the context of alcohol dependence by developing the help available to their parents, enabling them to find new ways of managing conflict, thereby reducing couple conflict and alcohol dependency. 

Specifically, it will do this by developing skills in frontline staff, addressing stigma around help-seeking by developing a comprehensive digital offer for parents, and training practitioners in interventions for couples within existing alcohol services.

Tavistock Relationships’ contribution to the project will include developing a joint training with Adfam for frontline practitioners covering the impact of parental alcohol dependence and interparental conflict on children. In addition, we will train 30 practitioners practitioners in Behavioural Couples Therapy for alcohol Dependence

As well as boosting face to face skills, the offer tackles the difficulty of engaging couples and families in seeking help for their alcohol dependence by developing a digital offer for parents.

This online platform will be developed by OnePlusOne for parents and is set to include a range of content, from initial information giving and signposting to self-help tools and self-administered therapeutic programmes

One of the exciting elements of the project is that it blends the face-to-face training of workers to provide services in the community with digital services accessible 24/7. The latter acts both as a training tool and a funnel, engaging users through practitioner referral and self-referral, offering anytime access from mobile / chosen device, referring parents to more help if required urgently.

Set to be rolled out over the course of two years, the work will look to not only improve outcomes for the couple and any children by reducing harmful drinking  but will also serve to embed awareness of the problem and consequences of inter-parental conflict (IPC) for practitioners and parents.

Commenting on the award, Chief Executive of Tavistock Relationships, Andrew Balfour, said: “200,000 children in England are estimated to be living with parents who have alcohol problems. These are huge numbers, and we know that the impact of having a parent with an alcohol problem on the lives of children can be devastating. So we are thrilled to have been awarded this grant by the Government to help develop a suite of trainings and face-to-face and digital help for parents that will ultimately make a real difference to children’s lives. We are also very encouraged that the Government has recognised the value of taking a relational approach to such-deep seated problems that very often are addressed, if they are dealt with at all, by treating individual parents affected by alcohol dependence rather than parental couples”.