The Race Equality Foundation, a national charity which promotes equality across public services, has today (14 Sept) launched a new toolkit which aims to reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing for children, through reducing parental conflict.
The unique toolkit highlights that:
● 1 in 10 children living with both parents have one parent reporting ‘relationship distress’
● Children’s wellbeing and life outcomes are affected by conflict between their parents from the womb
● The cost of family breakdown is estimated at £51 billion annually
The tool, made up of nine sections, is the first of its kind in explaining how culture influences non-violent conflict, particularly in relation to harder-to-reach groups like those from ethnic minority backgrounds, fathers, and LGBTQ+ parents.
It has been co-produced by the Race Equality Foundation, two partners (Men’s Health Forum and the Association of Mental Health Providers) and frontline practitioners – such as public health nurses, including health visitors, school nurses, general practice nurses, and midwives – and other professionals working with families, as well as parents and young people.
It also contains resource sheets for parents to work through their feelings and actions and signposts to further support, such as the Race Equality Foundation’s accredited “Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities”parenting programme.
Eleni Bloy, Consultant at the Race Equality Foundation said: “Conflict does not need to be violent or obvious to be harmful to children. Understanding what harmful conflict is, how it affects children and why it happens is crucial so that parents can do their best for their children and their well-being.
It’s also incredibly important for practitioners to understand the role of ethnicity and culture when it comes to relationship conflict, communication and engagement with services, so they can spot the signs and offer support.
We are hugely grateful to our project partners, for the support of the Department for Work and Pensions and the Chief Nurse Directorate from Public Health England, and funding from the Health & Wellbeing Alliance to make this significant work a reality.
Written By: Shiryn Sayani