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Behaviours such as shouting, becoming withdrawn or slamming doors can be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

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. 


  • Animation   – “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)


  • “Between Us” Relationship App –  This resource is aimed at parents to use independently and/or with support from practitioners. Access requires a request to be emailed to


  • Pre Recorded Webinar – This webinar, developed by Tavistock Relationships is aimed at providing practitioners with an overview of parental conflict is, how to identify this issue and how to start a conversation with families.


  • Podcast –  This podcast is developed by Tavistock Relationships and aims to provide practitioners with the opportunity to listen to a discussion about parental conflict from subject specialists, find out about the data around RPC and how to support their work with families who are experiencing conflict within their relationship.


  • 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.


Support for Parents

OnePlusOne are working with the WSSCP to deliver a digital range of resources designed to support practitioners in reducing parental conflict across 3 different audiences –

  • Me, You & Baby Too – for new parents
  • Arguing Better – for parents experiencing stress and conflict
  • Getting it right for Children – for seperated or seperating parents

Reducing Parental Conflict Training

There are a range of training sessions available around reducing parental conflict, including introductory and advanced levels of training.

To view the various training sessions available on reducing parental conflict please visit the

WSSCP Training Calendar