Family Links is a national charity dedicated to empowering children, parents, families, schools and workplaces to be emotionally healthy.

We deliver innovative, high quality training in the Nurturing Programme to health and social care services, third sector organisations, schools and universities.

We want to give every child the best chance in life.

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Relationships Matter — Empowering parents to enhance outcomes for children

In the UK there is real concern about the need to narrow the gap in educational outcomes. The Fair Education Alliance reported in 2017 that the gap in primary literacy and numeracy between those at schools serving high and low-income communities is 8.2 months; children from low-income families continue to be over four times as likely as other children to be permanently excluded from school. Whilst there is much that schools and others are doing to attempt to narrow the gap, the origins of these differences often lie much earlier in a child’s life, in the pre-school years. Both the cognitive and emotional environment in the home matter. Research from the Brookings Institution highlights that “chances of upward social mobility are lower for children with parents struggling to do a good job — in terms of creating a supportive and stimulating home environment.”

At Family Links we have been working with parents for over 20 years, delivering the Nurturing Programme to empower them to develop the skills and confidence needed to provide an authoritative parenting style; one which combines warmth, nurture and interest with clear boundaries and expectations. Parents almost universally want the best for their children, however many lack the inner resources, social scripts or models for parenting to help them to achieve this. For some, the relevant opportunities for social learning from positive role models has not taken place and their own sense of self agency is low, leaving them feeling poorly equipped to manage the challenges of parenting.

The Nurturing Programme is based on the idea that we can enhance parents’ skills to improve family relationships and parents’ emotional health, as well as the emotional health and development of their children. Based upon the Four Constructs illustrated below, it is a cognitive relational programme, focusing mostly on helping parents understand thoughts, feelings, and emotions (of both parents and children) and on the quality of relationships between parents and children.

There are some important behavioural components in the programme, broadening the repertoire or range of strategies parents have for responding to various normal but challenging situations at home, but these are secondary to the programme’s main emphasis on listening, communicating, understanding and strengthening relationships. Merely teaching parents skills in child management is likely to make only a minor (and possibly temporary) contribution to overall good outcomes for children, in the absence of attention to the quality of the relationship within which the management skills are practised.

Keep reading here: https://familylinks.org.uk/blog/2018-03-09/relationships-matter-empowering-parents-to-enhance-outcomes-for-children


We offer innovative, high-quality training courses around the UK for those working with children, parents, families or in schools.

We can come to you to provide in-house training courses for a group or team or you can join us at one of our training venues around the country.

Find out more about how to train to deliver the Nurturing Programme.

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The best training ever. Can’t wait to get started. This training has been life changing for me and I know it will have the same effect on parents too!
Family Links trained practitioners at the end of a course

Watch video

Funmi and Prisca (Mums of children with special needs) discuss the impact of the course
Funmi and Prisca (Mums of children with special needs) discuss the impact of the course
Family Links Nurturing Schools Network whole school approach - short case study
Family Links Nurturing Schools Network whole school approach - short case study
Welcome to the World Programme in Cardiff
Welcome to the World Programme in Cardiff


Delegates listening to a practitioner's story from Reach Academy

Promoting Positive Mental Health: Emotional Health for All

London, Thursday 7th December 2017

Thank you to all those who joined us on Thursday 7th December to talk about Promoting Positive Mental Health: Emotional Health for All. It was a great day with lots of interesting discussion

All the slides from the day are available to download below.

Download presentation

We also watched the following films on the day:

Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change – Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

Fathers share their experience of attending a Nurturing Programme parent group with Islamic values