We will be extending seven contracts with organisations delivering relationship support provision and related services. These services include preventive support for couples during key transition points in their relationships; targeted support for parents with complex needs; work to promote healthy relationships and encourage the take-up of support services; help for couples experiencing difficulties; training for health visitors to recognise and respond to the signs of relationship distress; training for relationship support specialists; and policy development work.
In addition, we will be launching a pilot to test the inclusion of relationship education in perinatal classes in eight areas of the country. The objectives of this pilot are to test the effectiveness of this approach in:
preparing couples for the impact having a baby will have on their relationship;
normalising the fact that relationship changes in this period are common; and
providing strategies on how to manage any differences/conflict.
These contracts will be worth just over £7.2 million with further funding earmarked to help local authorities develop strategies to help improve the quality of family relationships. This will bring total funding for 2015-16 to just under £8 million.
In addition, we will also be offering a six month extension to all of the 16 Help and Support for Separated Families Innovation Fund projects, which focus on helping parents going through separation to resolve conflict and work together in the interests of their children. The extending projects will share in a total of £2.5 million which will enable further work with families and the opportunity to gather more data to evaluate the success of these projects.