New government report shows that Relate’s couple counselling delivers £11.40 of benefit for every £1 spent

26 May 2021

A recent independent evaluation of relationship support services has demonstrated clear financial and emotional benefits to individuals and society as a whole. Specifically, the Department for Education-commissioned report found that Relate’s couple counselling service delivers £11.40 of benefit respectively for every £1 spent. This is calculated by looking at what costs are saved by reducing the likelihood of relationship breakdown.

The DfE commissioned the independent evaluation as part of the Prime Minister’s commitment to relationship support. Relationship breakdown is estimated to cost the UK economy £46 billion each year, with often devastating and long-lasting emotional effects for individuals and families.

The evaluation looked at services offered at different stages of a couple’s relationship: marriage preparation, short relationship education classes and couple counselling. All services were found to be associated with positive impacts, with couple counselling in particular leading to positive changes in wellbeing and relationship quality.

Relate, the UK’s leading relationship support organisation, welcomes the report. Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive of Relate said: “We are delighted that this report demonstrates the financial and social benefits of Relate’s couple counselling service. Given that relationship breakdown is estimated to cost the UK economy tens of billions each year, it is clear that future investment in relationship support services will continue to bring very real financial and social benefits.”

Angela Foll, Chief Executive of Relate Bedfordshire and Luton said: “It’s great to have this recognition of the value of our work. At Relate Bedfordshire and Luton we help over 4000 people every year through our range of services but we know there are more people who could benefit from accessing help and support. Every day, we see first-hand the devastating impact that relationship breakdown can have – so we know that our work to help couples understand each other and have the tools to improve their relationships if they want to is absolutely crucial.”

The report also found that people who used relationship support services were more likely to access support in the future. However the authors identified the need for improved signposting to these services so that more people can benefit throughout the course of their relationships. They also call for a clear strategy for relationship support which encourages central and local government and local public health departments to take account of the importance of adult couple relationships and their impact on health and wellbeing.

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