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Family Support

Family Mediation

Family mediation helps to sort out family disputes without going to court. An independent, trained mediator helps you and your partner to work out an agreement about issues such as:

  • Arrangements for children after you break up (sometimes called custody, residence or contact)
  • Child maintenance payments
  • Finances (for example, what to do with your house, savings, pension, debts)

For information on family mediation and contact details for local qualified family mediators, visit: www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk or National Family Mediation

For more information and support around relationships both locally and nationally see our Support Section

Keeping your family safe

Keeping children, young people and your family safe means protecting them from abuse and other dangers in their everyday lives.

Find out more about Abuse, Bullying, and Online Safety, what it is, what you can do and where you can find support. Please read our staying safe advice before contacting a service or activity.

If you suspect ill treatment of a child or young person or you are not coping, you can:

  • Call Children’s Services on 020 8583 6600 (option 1)
  • Email: earlyhelp@hounslow.gov.uk
  • Out of hours (after 5pm weekdays or weekends) call 020 8583 2222
  • If the child is in immediate danger call the police on 999

If you are uncertain, you might find it helpful to discuss your worries with someone you know who works with children and families. This could be a teacher, school nurse, health visitor or social worker.

It is important to act fast if you suspect abuse as some signs of abuse can disappear quickly. You do not have to give your name and your conversation will be treated confidentially

Money Matters - financial support

There are many organisations offering financial advice around debt, entitlements, benefits and grants.  Below you will find links to a handful of organisations that can provide further information and support on the many financial aspects of raising a family. Local support can be found here

  • GOV.UK - Pregnancy and Birth – Working, time off and financial support help when having a baby
  • Child Benefit  find out about child benefit eligibility and how to claim
  • Child maintenance options  free impartial information and support to help parents make informed choices about child maintenance.
  • Gov.uk - Benefits for families
  • Childcare page information on help towards paying for and finding childcare
  • Gingerbread – For single parents this site can help support you through separation or bereavement, sorting out work or childcare. Online advice and a helpline can support you with more complex queries.

Benefit and grant calculators

Facing hardship

  • Local Food Banks - provides a list of food banks running in Hounslow supporting families who are struggling and unable to afford to feed themselves
  • Help with Health costs
  • Buttle UK – Grant programme helping children and young people in need
  • Money Advice Service – Free and impartial money advice
  • Citizens Advice Hounslow  provide free, confidential, impartial advice on welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment, consumer, relationship & family issues, immigration and other topics.
  • Housing advice - your options explained and advice on issues you may be experiencing.
  • Smallwood Trust - Helping women overcome financial difficulties and improve their social and emotional wellbeing. To read more and apply for a grant go to the Smallwood Trust website or call the Trust on 0300 365 1886

Sources of advice and online support for Young People

Kooth - Free anonymous confidential support for young people. Website provides ‘drop in’ online counselling chats, 1-to-1 counselling and themed message forums

Childline - 0800 1111 - Free 24 hour helpline for children; may have to dial several times to get through as can be busy. Also, offer email support via the website, ‘1-2-1 chat’ online with a counsellor or ‘Ask Sam’

Relate for Young People  - 0300 100 1234 - The young people's counselling service provides support for any young person experiencing problems at home or at school. See web page for 'relationship help’ for children and young people'.

Teen Issues - Website has information and guidance on teenage issues such as family life, relationships, education, exams, the environment, diet, fitness and mental health. On the website you can ‘ask an expert’, read true life stories, keep up-to-date with latest news or register for their monthly e-newsletter.

The Mix - 0808 808 4994 - Free telephone and email helpline providing emotional support for young people for under 25 year olds.

Child Contact Centres

A child contact centre is somewhere that is safe and neutral where children can spend time with one or both parents that have separated, this sometimes can be with other family members.

Hounslow’s contact centre is only available through a  Hounslow social worker and if the child is a 'Looked after child'. If your child does not have a social worker then you will need to look for contact centres in nearby authorities at NACCC - Find a Centre

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