Family Ties - Online Help for Parents in Conflict

Following our last run of the programme, the Family Ties Online team carried out an evaluation of the intervention and conducted interviews with participating families. To read the full evaluation report, please click here to download a copy.

The Family Ties Online Programme:

Family Ties Online builds on the same principles of the No Kids In the Middle multi-family therapy group, but is adapted for families to access virtually on an individual basis. Family Ties Online is for parents who want to work on their communication, so that they reduce the impact of arguments on their children. Friends and family can be crucial in supporting parents in conflict and their children. Family Ties Online asks parents from the beginning to think about who in their network (friends and/or family members) may be able to support them throughout the intervention. The programme takes place through video calls between parents and the therapist over 12 weeks. Each parent will have a 10 sessions, sometimes together with their co-parent, and other times with the therapist one-to-one. Parents will also be asked to complete ‘homework tasks’ between sessions and to think about these with their network. 

Who is this programme for?

All parents sometimes argue with one another – this includes parents who are in a relationship, and also those who are separated or divorced. However, some parents find themselves stuck in a pattern of frequent and stressful conflict, and this can be difficult for everyone in the family. It can be particularly upsetting and confusing for children when their parents argue, and they can often feel caught in the middle or in some way responsible for their parents conflict. While it is very rarely the intention of any parent to harm their children, even indirect exposure to parental conflict can have a serious negative impact on children’s wellbeing. Some parents may need help to find new ways of communicating and to break the cycle of arguments so that their children can feel happier. Parents taking part in this programme can be separated/divorced or together, and children can be of any age.

The help we offer:

The AFNCCF has a team of therapists that specialise in supporting families to protect children from parental conflict. We offer a number of different kinds of support, and we help parents choose the best option for them given the family’s individual circumstances. Family Ties is an online therapy programme for families who would benefit from a ‘medium’ level of support. Some families will need more help than this, and we can discuss alternative options.


The goals of the programme:

  • Help parents to think about the child’s experience . This can help the child to have a good relationship with both parents.
  • Help parents understand their own patterns and ‘triggers’, and think about how these lead to arguments. This can help parents to find new ways of communicating about difficult topics, without fighting.
  • Support parents to build coping strategies so that they can manage the stress that often comes with conflict.
  • Help parents to talk with and receive support from their ‘social networks’, such as friends and family members.

This programme is not appropriate for families when:

  • There is on-going domestic abuse, parental substance abuse (e.g. drugs/alcohol), or child protection concerns/investigations (this is because we are unable to provide sufficient safeguarding monitoring in such situations via online therapy. In this context, a more intensive or face-to-face programme might be needed.)
  • There are on-going proceedings in the family courts (families in on-going legal proceedings usually require more intensive support)
  • The child has no contact at all with one parent, as a result of parental separation/divorce (where contact with one parent has broken down completely, a more intensive intervention is usually required)

Making a referral

At the moment, we have a small number of FREE places available on this programme. Places will be offered on a first come first served basis.

To make a referral, please click here and complete our online referral form

We accept referrals directly from parents, or through a third party such as healthcare professionals, social workers, or GPs (family doctors).