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Exploring inter–parental relationship support provision

Mother of two walking past flats
Published: April 2017

New findings reveal a stronger focus on parental relationships is needed within existing family services.


To explore what relationship support provision is available to parents who are either living in poverty or at risk of poverty and to identify ways of improving this provision.

This is part of a broader piece of work looking at how parents can be helped to have better quality relationships.


A report 'Exploring parental relationship support: A qualitative study' is available to download from the EIF's website. 

Recommendations from the report 

A whole system response

A whole systen response is needed as relationship support for parents was seen as a complex area of support, with a spectrum of need and the potential for issues to arise across the life course. 

Improving understanding of need

There was limited data available locally on the prevalence of relationship distress and without this it is difficult to make the case for intervention.

Building the evidence base and disseminating it effectively

A key lever for improving service provision was a better understanding of the evidence base on outcomes for children, and more robust evidence on effective interventions.

This study was commissioned by the Early Intervention Foundation and was undertaken in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


This research involved:

  • In-depth interviews with national stakeholders
  • Five in-depth local area case studies, that will include interviews with relationship support providers and commissioners.