Northumberland pilots new app to support separating parents
15 Jan 2024
Download the Separating better app
A new app to support parents during the challenges of separation has launched in Northumberland.
It is the latest in a series of free relationship support packages now available for residents through the council’s trailblazing Family Hub programme.
Separating better will support parents by equipping them with the practical information and emotional skills they need to put arrangements in place that work in the best interests of their children.
During this pilot phase, the app is available in Northumberland and the Isle of Wight, ahead of a national launch this spring.
The development of the app, by relationship experts at leading relationship research and innovation charity OnePlusOne, has been made possible thanks to funding from the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund 2.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member for Inspiring Young People, whose portfolio includes supporting families, said: “We are pleased to be working with OnePlusOne to pilot this innovative new app.
“We recognise the challenges that family life can bring and through our Family Hubs we’re investing in a wide range of support from conception right through a child’s journey to adulthood.
“Since we launched our hubs, as part of the Government’s trailblazer programme, we’ve introduced a suite of free resources available for residents that focus on the importance of healthy relationships.
“This app will be the latest addition to our digital offer and is a valuable resource that offers both practical and emotional support for parents, whilst focusing on the needs of the children.”
The app will support parents to co-parent effectively. Alongside practical tools which offer help with budgeting and legal arrangements, parents will also be able to create their own parenting plan, considering the different needs their children may have.
The app features a series of new videos showing typical co-parenting situations and the impact of poorly handled conflict on children. Using Behaviour Modelling Training techniques, these Work it out videos will help parents to learn better conflict management and communication skills, keeping their children’s best interests at the heart of their actions and decision-making.
During the pilot phase of the app, which runs for the next three months, parents using Separating better will be invited to offer feedback which will be used to make further improvements before free access for all is rolled out next year.
Verity Glasgow, CEO of OnePlusOne, said: “We are delighted to be piloting Separating better in Northumberland and the Isle of Wight. This app pulls together decades of research and expertise in supporting separating couples and equipping them with the necessary skills to co-parent effectively.
“Navigating the practical challenges of separating at an emotionally difficult time isn’t easy. We hope that the combination of emotional and practical support in the app will help parents to manage this process as smoothly as possible.”
Alongside practical tips about parenting after parting, the app also features OnePlusOne’s emotional readiness assessment tool, a simple quiz grounded in research evidence which measures where an individual is emotionally following the breakdown of a relationship. Understanding this is the key to identifying the different levels of support that might be needed during the separation process and beyond.
After completing the initial quiz, users of the app will have a better understanding of where they are emotionally on their separation journey and how this can affect their decision-making and behaviour.
Download the Separating better app