Parenting without Conflict

Restorative Thinking’s  ‘Parenting without Conflict’ programme

* Awarded the Department of Health’s CANparent Quality Mark

* Four 2.5 hour sessions, completion rates are high

* Underpinned by restorative practice

* Supports parents/carers/anyone with a parenting role


‘Parenting without Conflict’ has been awarded the Department of Health’s CANparent Quality Mark.

We offer this programme within criminal justice settings (Prisons, Probation Trusts, Youth Offending Services), delivered either by our own experienced facilitators or via a Licence Agreement.  Download programme details here.


Background and Evidence Base

Restorative Thinking’s ‘Parenting without Conflict’  programme was developed and piloted in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, in 2012.  Parents/carers engaged through local Children’s Centres and schools, with families referred to the programme by GPs, Paediatric Psychiatrists, CAMHS, CAPSS, Social Services and schools.

Across the board there was strong evidence of improved outcomes for children and families; 70 families enrolled on the course and 56 completed it fully. This in itself developed an ethos of perseverance within families and was replicated in improved school attendance for the children. Schools reported fewer instances of challenging behaviour with the families participating on the course and also an improved level of engagement by the parents in meetings and consultation events.

Where antisocial behaviour had been a problem, the local police and schools reported fewer incidents and a more responsive attitude to seeking solutions and responding to assistance.

From 2014-16 HMP Forest Bank delivered ‘Parenting without Conflict’ via a Licensing Agreement, which saw prison Family Support Workers delivering the programme with groups of 4-12 men.  Positive outcomes were reported by HMP Forest Bank delivery teams, Restorative Thinking observations, communication via our wrap-around support and the written evaluation tools returned to Restorative Thinking following each round of programme delivery.  Notably, the programme was popular with prisoners, some of whom became peer mentors for the programme, attending further sessions to support others through the programme and producing artwork to enhance delivery of the programme.

‘Parenting without Conflict’ has, since 2014, been delivered in a variety of custody and community settings, always with recorded successful outcomes for participants.  Notably, from April 2015 – October 2017 the programme was delivered throughout Cumbria (with referrals from HMP Haverigg and probation services); this project was externally evaluated by The Brathay Trust and the full report is available here.

Key findings of The Brathay Trust evaluation:

  • Feedback from Probation (CRC), Children’s Services, Youth Offending, staff from HMP Haverigg and Focus Families indicate good outcomes for clients on the Restorative Thinking Limited programmes. (p.11)
  • 88% of those surveyed who attended Restorative Thinking Limited’s Relationships without Conflict and/or Parenting without Conflict course reported changed behaviour. (p.13)
  • 78% of those who attended Restorative Thinking Limited’s Relationships without Conflict &/or Parenting without Conflict programme reported improved life chances. (p.14)
  • Emergent findings indicate that n=2 children whose parents attended Restorative Thinking Limited’s RWC & PWC programme are able to express their feelings within the home environment. Parents attribute this to improved empathic course facilitators who delivered material which supported them to develop better communication and parenting skills. (p.15)


In Autumn 2017, the programme was delivered in partnership with POPS (Partners of Prisoners) at HMP Risley; our internal evaluation report is available here.