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Reducing Parental Conflict (RPC)

What is Parental Conflict?

Conflict between parents is normal, but if exposure is frequent, intense and poorly resolved, this can have a damaging impact on children, resulting in long-term mental health issues and emotional, social and behavioural and academic problems as they grow up.

Parental conflict can be reflected in a wide range of behaviours, from constructive (helpful) to destructive (harmful) behaviours. Harmful behaviours in a relationship which are frequent, intense and poorly resolved can lead to a lack of respect and a lack of

Behaviours such as shouting, becoming withdrawn or slamming doors can be
viewed as destructive.

Parental relationship distress is different from domestic abuse. This is because there is
not an imbalance of power, neither parent seeks to control the other, and neither parent is
fearful of the other.


Conflict can affect children in all types of parental relationships, including:

  • parents who are in a relationship, whether married or not
  • parents who have separated or divorced
  • biological and step parents
  • other family members playing a parenting role
  • foster and adoptive parents
  • same-sex couples

Taken from Department for Work & Pensions / Gov Guidance – Reducing Parental Conflict

The WSSCP has collaborated with a range of organisations to provide practitioners with a suite of resources, tools and training to support work around identifying parental conflict within families and providing intervention to ensure children and young people are living in an environment where parents/caregivers are able to manage conflict appropriately.

Tools & Resources for Practitioners and Families

Please be aware that there is an expectation that practitioners who access the resources below, will engage in the evaluation work planned. Thank you in advance for supporting the evaluation process to ensure the resources we provide are fit for purpose and support your work with children and families effectively. 


“Healthy Relationships” – This resource is suitable for children, parents and practitioners and provides an easy to understand introduction to what parental conflict can look like and how it can affect children in the family from a child’s perspective. This resource is produced to include contact details for Pan Sussex (West Sussex, East Sussex & Brighton & Hove). To view the animation click on the link below –

Reducing Parental Conflict animation


Relationship App  “Between Us”

This resource is aimed at parents to use independently and/or with support from practitioners.

It provides individuals and couples with a range of exercises, tips, videos and information so that they can better understand what’s going wrong in their relationship and do something about it.

One of the ways in which the app works is by helping partners in a relationship to reflect together, and more constructively, on their difficulties. A number of the topics on the app ask the user a short series of questions, about themselves, and then also about their partner.

To read full details and access this resource (free to families living in West Sussex) click / scan below –

Access the Between Us app now


  •  scan the QR code below –

QR Code for Between Us

(Please note access to the app requires a human to sign you up, so if your request is submitted outside of office hours, your request will be completed on the next working day).


Pre -Recorded Webinar

This webinar, developed by Tavistock Relationships is aimed at providing practitioners with an overview of what parental conflict is, how to identify this issue and how to start a conversation with families. To access this resources click on the link below;

Reducing Parental Conflict Introductory Webinar


Getting on Better” cards – 

Developed by relationship specialists OnePlusOne, these cards are designed for practitioners to use with parents to support conversations around relationships and how to reduce tensions and arguments. To access these cards click on the link below;

 Getting on better cards


Better Conversations Role Play Resource

Better Conversations is a role play tool which can be accessed on a PC or a mobile that gives parents and co-parents the space to learn to communicate more productively with each other, with the aim of reducing conflict between them.

Better Conversations contains a range of conversation topics which have the potential to lead to conflict. The tool allows parents to practise better communication and find out why one choice of response may well escalate tension, while another may reduce the likelihood of arguments.

Each of the Better Conversations scenarios takes only a few minutes to complete. Parents can then go through the same scenario, making different choices in order to see how these choices affect how the conversation then plays out.

This role-play tool is designed to help parents find a way of better understanding, and appreciating, the experience and perspective of their partner/ex-partner – with the aim of this new understanding leading to reduced conflict between the two people when it comes to real-life situations.

Each of the different Better Conversations scenarios can be completed in just a few minutes. The parents can choose to make different choices, and can then see how these different choices play out.

You can read more about Better Conversations, and see a video of it in action, by clicking on the link below –

Access the “Better Conversations” resource now –


  •  scan the QR code below –

XR Code for the "Better Conversations" resource