Rochdale is having a relationship revolution. We're working with partners on reducing family conflict and supporting families earlier so conflict doesn't lead to lasting damage for children, young people and parents.
We've trained over 600 frontline staff so far to give them the skills to support couples and families.
We started by training all our children's centre staff. Anyone who uses these centres can now get support from any of the 120 trained relationship champions who work there. We're also working really closely with schools who are ideally placed to work with parents and children on relationships.
In July 2019, ITV News showcased some of the work we have been doing on reducing family conflict. The video and article by ITV News shows our work is having a real and positive impact on the lives of families, see the link below.
- ITV News video and article about our relationship support (external link)
There's a relationship champion at each of our children's centres in the borough. These champions can offer families support and guidance or signposting to further services. Relationship champions wear a distinctive badge. Anyone wearing this badge is trained to listen and support you.
In 2019, we trained hundreds of our staff, partners and volunteers to become relationship champions. Our relationship champions will complete a dedicated training programme called 'how to argue better'.
This will mean there are hundreds of people working across the community who are able to help couples and families reduce conflict in their relationships.
We're dedicated to reducing family conflict for a number of reasons, including:
- Evidence shows reducing conflict between parents is one of the most effective ways to reduce mental health problems in children.
- Family conflict costs the public sector around £46 billion a year through related services.
- Exposure to frequent conflict between parents is associated with a range of problems for children and young people. This can include poorer academic outcomes, negative peer relationships, substance misuse and poor future relationships.