Local advice centres
Advice centres are non-profit agencies that give advice on issues such as benefits and housing.
You can search online for organisations such as:
- Citizens Advice
- community law centres
- welfare rights offices
- housing aid centres
- neighbourhood centres
- community projects
To help you get the most out of services, remember:
- Before you go, think about what you want to talk about and what information you can give that'll be helpful. Maybe jot these ideas down.
- Unless your child needs to be with you, try to get a friend or neighbour to look after them so you can concentrate.
- If a problem is making life difficult or really worrying you, keep going until you get some kind of answer, if not a solution.
- If you don't understand, say so. Go back over what they said to make sure you understand. It may help if they write it down for you.
- If English isn't your first language, you may be able to get help from a link worker or health advocate. Ask your health visitor or staff at your local Sure Start Children's Centre if there's a link worker or health advocate in your area.
Websites, helplines and support groups for parents
Contact: for families with disabled children
Support, advice and information for parents with disabled children.
- helpline: 0808 808 3555
- website: www.cafamily.org.uk
An organisation providing immediate help from volunteer parent support workers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- helpline: 0808 800 2222
- website: www.familylives.org.uk
Family Rights Group
Support for parents and other family members whose children are involved with or need social care services.
- helpline: 0808 801 0366
- website: www.frg.org.uk
Gingerbread: single parents, equal families
Help and advice on the issues that matter to lone parents.
- helpline: 0808 802 0925
- website: www.gingerbread.org.uk
Parent and baby groups
To find out about local groups:
- ask your health visitor or GP
- look on noticeboards and for leaflets at your local child health clinic, health centre, GP's waiting room, children's centre, library, advice centre, supermarket, newsagent, or toy shop
In some areas, there are groups that offer support to parents who share the same background and culture. Many of these are women's or mothers' groups.
Lots of children's centres also run fathers' groups and groups for teenage parents.
Your health visitor may know whether there are any groups like these near you.