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groups of people in a parents as partners session

Parents as Partners programmes

mixed heritage family with small children walking hand in hand

An effective programme for parental support

Parents as Partners supports parents in strengthening their relationship with each other, so you they more able to face life's ups and downs.

Parents as Partners is a programme that looks at the whole family, not just the relationship between parents and their children. Both parents are involved in sessions, and the group is always led by a male and female pair of trained workers.

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.

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.

Our specialist programmes

mother and father of different heritages smiling at their baby

Parents as Partners - Perinatal Programme

A perinatal programme for parents to attend together to improve their relationship, increase their children's wellbeing and improve children's outcomes. To attend, parents must be referred by their Family Hub or a local authority practitioner.

parents with small child with learning disability playing under a sheet

Parents as Partners - Global Developmental Delay

This is a free 16-week online (web-meeting based) therapeutic group for couples of children with global developmental delay, with support from couples who understand the unique pressures involved. You can call 020 7380 1960 for further information or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

>> Apply now for group starting in September

parents with baby

What is needed from you

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 have included couples and co-parents from different backgrounds, including adoptive couples, same sex couples, and for couples dealing with the particular stresses of parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum.

Please note:

  • 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.

What parents say

In this video, a couple who attended Tavistock Relationships' Parents as Partners programme shares how the sessions helped their relationship and their family dynamic.



Children and Young People Now 2017 award logo

An award-winning approach

The Parents as Partners programme, a group-based approach to strengthening parental couple relationships and family life, was named the 'Best Family Support Intervention' at the Children & Young People Now awards ceremony at 2017 ceremony. 

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...