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Guide

Reducing Parental Conflict Planning Tool

Published

17 Oct 2018

Latest update

4 Nov 2021

This is a self-assessment planning tool to support local authorities and their partners to deliver a system-wide approach to reducing the negative impact of conflict between parents on their children.

RPC Planning Tool

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Reducing parental conflict is a complex issue which requires a system-wide approach. This self-assessment tool is designed to support local leaders and commissioners to identify local system strengths and areas for development, and to monitor progress over time.

In this document you will find:

  • A brief overview of the evidence on parental conflict, and link to further information.
  • An introduction to using a systemic approach to reduce the impact of parental conflict on children.
  • Descriptors for eight key elements which make up a reducing parental conflict system.
  • A list of questions to use to monitor practical changes in your local area.

This updated version of the planning tool was published in November 2021. The key elements have been reduced from 10 to eight, but the content is consistent with previous versions.

The Planning Tool is one of a suite of early intervention matrices developed by the Early Intervention Foundation and is produced in partnership with HM Government as part of the national Reducing Parental Conflict Programme. The design draws on work by the Good Governance Institute, EIF’s ‘Pioneering Places’ and the Department for Work & Pension’s Local Family Offer sites.

Submitting a completed Planning Tool

Local authorities are encouraged by DWP to submit their completed Planning Tool using this downloadable return form.

The return form has two sheets to fill in: 

  1. Measuring your progress is a short series of survey questions
  2. Self-assessment asks local areas to provide an estimate of the stage of progress that has been made against the eight planning tool criteria.

Once filled out, the return form should be sent to caxtonhouse.rpc@dwp.gov.uk

Running a stakeholder workshop

You may want to use the planning tool as part of a multi-agency stakeholder workshop in your area. The workshop is a way to bring together your key stakeholders to consider your area's current position on tackling parental conflict, understand local progress and identify priorities for action.

If you plan to use the tool in this way, you should consider the following:

  • Reducing parental conflict is a complex issue which involves a range of different organisations. Make sure to involve strategic and operational stakeholders from across the spectrum of services and organisations that provide child and family services.
  • No one sees the whole picture, so planning workshops are most effective when there is lots of time to hear different perspectives, to hear from families themselves, and to find common ground.
  • Stakeholders often need to take time to understand what the evidence says about parental conflict and child impact before being able to actively engage in a local assessment and plan.
  • The purpose of the workshop is to move from talk to action, so sufficient time should be allowed for agreeing specific next steps.

You may also want to share the accompanying worksheet with local stakeholders to help them to engage with this agenda.

About the contributors

Ben Lewing

Ben is assistant director, policy & practice, at EIF.

Dr Virginia Ghiara

Virginia is a senior research officer at EIF.