Hertfordshire County Council has commissioned The Counselling Foundation to provide free counselling for parents whose conflict is affecting their children.
Hertfordshire County Council began commissioning relationships support services to address parental conflict in 2016, initially part of a pilot funded by the Department of Work and Pensions. The result was not just having impact on parents and children – it had the clear potential to reduce demand for specialist services in future. The pilot project over the last two years, was such a resounding success that the contract has been extended for another year.
Local charity, The Counselling Foundation, will be able to continue its work counselling parents of children whose self- esteem, schoolwork or wellbeing has been affected by parental conflict. Parents can be any couple with parental responsibility and can be living together or apart.
Families that are referred to the Foundation must be working closely with support workers, must be experiencing relationship difficulties with children in the relationship. Couples can now be seen for 8 sessions in many locations across the county including St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn, Stevenage and Hatfield.
The Foundation’s CEO, Robert Cuming welcomed the announcement of the new contract.
“We have seen how couples counselling can transform lives,” he said. “When the parents work with a counsellor to get to the route of their conflict and start communicating, the whole family becomes a safe and supportive place for the children.”
Counselling sessions provide practical support to improve relationships, offering parents space and structure to work with issues that are affecting them and their children.
The Development and Commissioning Manager for Family Services, Ruth Fennemore, said the couples counselling was part of the Families First aim to build resilience in families, so they can take control of their own lives without prolonged support.
“We want to give timely and effective services to families by integrating the support available through ourselves and other agencies,” she said.
To access this service, people with parenting responsibilities who feel their family would benefit from counselling, mediation or coaching should first talk to their Children’s Centres, Health Visitor, Local School Partnerships and Intensive Family Support Teams.
More information about this is available: Hertfordshire.gov.uk/parentrelationships
Note to editors
The Counselling Foundation:
Grant and Contract Manager
Tel: 01727 868 585 Option 7 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Counselling Foundation is a leading charity providing low cost, quality counselling and counsellor training for the better mental health and educational advancement of our communities.
Founded in 1974, the Foundation has now become one of the largest counselling and training centres outside of London, with five centres in Bedford, Broxbourne, Luton, St Albans and Stevenage, delivering over 30,000 counselling sessions a year including NHS contracts across the counties.