Hear from 5 parents who have been on the Parents as Partners programme:
Do you want help with your relationship, and to be the best parents you can be?
The Parents as Partners programme (called Schoolchildren and their Families in US Studies) provides a safe space for couples and co-parents to work out how to move forward if things have been difficult. It is a free programme that looks at the whole family, not just the relationship between parents and their children. The free sessions are led by trained group workers who work with both parents to foster long-lasting change. Both parents are involved in sessions, and the group is always led by a male and female pair of trained workers.
What can I expect?
You and your child's other parent will attend sessions along with a small number of other parents. Over the course of the programme you will be working on your relationship and yourself, exploring family patterns, as well as improving your parenting skills and helping your child succeed. Free childcare is available on-site.
Sessions include a mix of creative activities, video clips and discussions, input from the group leaders and space to talk about the things that are important for you. The group is a safe space to explore things that might be difficult and sad, as well as a space for lively discussion, fun and meeting other people who might be going through similar situations.
Hear about our programme from Group Workers Steve and Antonia:
How does it help?
Parents as Partners has proven results in helping:
- Improve your relationship and communication with your child's other parent
- Strengthen your family relationships and improve your child's wellbeing and success
- Manage the challenges and stress of family life
- Reduce conflict in your relationship
To find out more about its outcomes, look at the Early Intervention Foundation Guidebook’s page on the ‘Schoolchildren and their Families’ programme (the original name of this programme in the US when it was tested on a group of parents whose children were entering school – it’s the same programme as Parents as Partners). Here you can find out more about how it helps to support children’s mental health and well-being, enhance school achievement and reduce internalising and externalising problems. The Parents as Partners programme works with parents who have at least one child aged 11 or under.
Is it for me?
To benefit from this programme, whether you are together or separated, you need to be willing to talk together about how you would like to bring up your children. Groups include couples and co-parents from different backgrounds, and there are also groups for adoptive couples, same sex couples, and for couples dealing with the particular stresses of parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum.
- Both parents have to agree to participate and attend the group together
- This isn't a programme for one parent only
- We meet couples/co-parents before to decide together whether the programme is suitable for you
- You cannot attend if you are currently involved in care proceedings or private family law proceedings
My husband and I were referred to parents as partners by our counsellor. To be perfectly honest I was very sceptical about it and if it wasn't because of not having an option to improve our relationship, I wouldn't have attended it. Issues like confidentiality was a big problem for us. We didn't want to discuss our personal issues in front of others. Plus, being in a room with five other couples for a limited amount of time made us think we cannot take much away with us... However, the group was a life changer for us... I wish we had done it earlier. Sharing some time with other couples who go through similar problems, sharing their approach towards their issues and having two professionals who are amazing at guiding couples is so helpful towards improving relationships. The group is designed in a way that covers the most parts of marital problems especially those that come up after becoming a parent. Since we've done the course, our relationship with each other and our child has become a lot better. The session about communication was absolutely brilliant. It's helped us being able to talk with each other effectively without avoiding or arguing. Also, not only wasn't the confidentiality an issue, but we ended up making some great friends for life... I highly recommend this group. You cannot imagine how effective it can be...
Where do the sessions take place?
The next groups run by Tavistock Relationships will be at venues in:
- Westminster, Camden, Southwark and Islington.
- You don't need to live in one of these areas to attend a group, but do need to be able to travel to a group for the weekly sessions
How to apply
If you are a parent interested in joining a group, please complete the application form and we will contact you to arrange an appointment.
How to make a referral
If you are a practitioner who would like to refer a family who could benefit please click here to open a Referral Form (MS Word) or right-click to download.