Westminster City Council has received new funding from the Department for Work and Pensions to help children affected by conflict between parents.
Cllr Richard Holloway, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People, said: ''Conflicts between parents, whether together or separated, has been proven to have a long-term negative impact on children. We strongly believe that a child’s life chances should not be defined by their family circumstances and it is right that support should be on offer for parents who want it.
''This additional funding will make a difference in Westminster, where we have already begun work with local providers at Family Hubs to improve our offer for families.''
Westminster City Council received £40k from the DWP in 2016 and was one of 12 local authorities to pilot a local family offer aimed at offering greater relational support. A further £50k of funding is to be provided in 2017, to continue to develop this family relationship work.
The outreach service, delivered by national charity Family Lives, is based in the Portman Centre and commissioned by the council. The service regularly visits different families to carry out assessments and deliver bespoke work to tackle breakdowns in family relationships. The team specifically targets vulnerable families, with children aged between 0-5, to help them engage with council services.
New training has been provided to staff to help them spot families who may need help and to open up conversations to see what support we could give.
The funding is aimed at supporting co-parenting, regardless of whether parents live together or not.
Jeremy Todd, Chief Executive of Family Lives, said: "Understanding the complexity of family relationships and the factors affecting them is key to helping children get the best start in life; ensuring families can access support, whether they are parenting together or apart, is an important part of this."