Phil and Carolyn Cowan, along with collaborators, win award in the UK

Congratulations to Phil and Carolyn Cowan along with collaborators Marsha Kline Pruett (Cal grad!), Professor at Smith College, and Kyle Pruett, Professor at Yale Schoo of Medicine, for winning 'Best Family Support Intervention' at the Children & Young People Now award ceremony.


Tavistock Relationships’ ‘Parents as Partners’ Programme Wins National Award for Helping Children and Families


The Parents as Partners programme, a group-based approach to strengthening parental couple relationships and family life, was named the 'Best Family Support Intervention' at the Children & Young People Now awards ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel, London. The award recognised the work of Tavistock Relationships’ DWP-funded programme to parents which has reached over 600 parents across multiple sites in London, Manchester, Stockport, Croydon, Gateshead and Swansea.


The programme, which originated in the US, developed by Professors Phil and Carolyn Cowan, is inspired by research that shows parental relationships and the way couples communicate have a major impact on effective parenting and the wellbeing of children. Evaluation of the Parents as Partners programme by Tavistock Relationships, published this year in the journal Family Process, has shown it to be effective across a number of domains.  Results of delivery so far have produced significant:

  • improvement in the quality of the parents' relationship with each other
  • reduction in conflict between the parents (including disagreements about money, the children, time spent together), with the greatest improvements in poor quality, high conflict relationships;
  • reduction in violent problem-solving between the parents;
  • improvement in psychological wellbeing;
  • reduction in children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties


Members of the team were received the award in person at the event.  Tavistock Relationships’ Parents as Partners programme was the overall winner in the category of Family Support interventions, with the NSPCC’s Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together programme being highly commended. The Parents as Partners Programme leader, Lucy Draper said: “It’s fantastic to see the years of work we have put in recognised in this way, and we are very grateful to receive this award.  Of course, what has sustained our work over the years is the pleasure of seeing the changes we make to the lives of parents and families. As group workers. We witness the often challenging journey so many parents make from the initial step of seeking support to the point of leaving the group, with new tools and ways of thinking about their relationships. The difference that parents tell us it has made, to their relationship with each other and with their children, is the greatest reward for our team.”