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Exploring parental relationship support: A qualitative study

This study forms part of a programme of work the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) carried out in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) exploring the extent and nature of UK service provision on inter-parental relationships, with a particular focus on families either in or at risk of poverty.

The study aims were to map the range of provision available in five case study areas to explore in depth:

• the perceived aims of relationship support;
• the current range of provision available and perceived gaps;
• how services are currently commissioned and provided;
• access and take-up of support, with a particular focus on families in or at risk of poverty;
• views on effective provision and how services monitor and evaluate their provision;
• recommendations for how provision could be improved.

In line with the wider programme aims, the study had a particular focus on respondents’ views on the value of relationship support for families in or at risk of poverty, and the extent to which support was available for these families. It also explored the extent to which child outcomes were considered in the commissioning, delivery and evaluation of relationship support services.

Eight interviews were carried out with national stakeholders and a further thirtyeight with local stakeholders and relationship support providers in five case study areas to provide a range of perspectives from policy and practice. The case-study areas were selected on the basis of level of deprivation and urban/rural spread.