Call for evidence: Parental conflict

The Race Equality Foundation, Association of Mental Health Providers and Men’s Health Forum have been commissioned to develop a resource and toolkit for public health nurses (including health visitors, school nurses, general practice nurses and midwives) to reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing through reducing parental conflict.

The project, which is funded by the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, will explore the growing understanding of the need to address and reduce parental conflict that sits below the domestic abuse/violence threshold. Parental conflict can range from a lack of warmth and emotional distance, right through to swearing and shouting. This is known to be a risk factor for poor child outcomes, including those related to physical and mental health, academic attainment, forming healthy relationships, behaviour and substance abuse, particularly when conflict is ‘frequent, intense and poorly resolved’.

Public health nurses are well placed to engage with children, young people and families to identify associated risks and intervene early to reduce the potential for conflict to escalate into more serious concerns, affecting the parent-child relationship.

The aim of the project is to develop a learning resource (designed as a self-study tool) to support public health nurses in their role as leaders of the Healthy Child Programme, to support families and other professionals involved with families. The aim is to limit the impact of conflict between parents on children and young people, in order to reduce health inequalities and lead to better outcomes. The self-learning resource could also be utilised by wider professional groups who support families.

Whilst there is a significant body of evidence that demonstrates the importance of sensitive, attuned parenting in promoting a secure environment for children, there are still gaps in our understanding. We are therefore now seeking evidence from people and organisations who are willing to share their knowledge, experience and understanding.

We are interested in all kinds of work in this area, especially:

  1. first person accounts about parental conflict from people with experience of living and working with this issue;
  2. first person accounts from young people about their experiences of parental conflict;
  3. strategies and interventions that have been put into practice, with or without success.

We would like to hear about schemes that have been developed to reduce the impact of parental conflict , especially those that have been put into practice. What was the thinking behind them? What difficulties did they run into, if any? What were the outcomes? To what extent did the perspective of people with lived experience influence this scheme?

  • How do people going through parental conflict (as the adults in conflict themselves or children/young people of these adult carers) experience interventions to reduce its impact ? Have they experienced any particularly good or bad interventions? Do they have additional needs that aren’t being met by mainstream services? What have they, or would they, find most helpful?
  • What additional barriers do people experiencing harmful parental conflict have?
  • We would like to hear about challenges faced by adults, children and young people experiencing parental conflict. Are there factors  that  affect someone’s ability to manage the conflict and its effects ? Do people experiencing this type of conflict experience additional problems identifying and accessing services?

How to send us evidence

We welcome evidence in a range of formats. Written submissions are welcome and can be accompanied by supporting documents, web links or videos. We are also happy to accept evidence by telephone or video call.. The deadline for submission is Monday 14th December. 2020

Please send evidence to

Please ensure you give us your name, organisation (if relevant) and contact details, indicating if you would like us to treat your evidence anonymously.

Any questions?

If you would like to know more about this project, or to arrange a telephone or video call appointment to share evidence, please get in touch with Eleni Bloy | or on 07708 360561

Parental Conflict: Call for Evidence (PDF, 198kb)