Support for parents

Where to look for support for your family

A guide to external organisations that can help in time of difficulty

We understand that families can experience difficulties in life for many reasons. This section contains pointers to external organisations and agencies that can help parents and children in difficult circumstances. Do contact school and let us know if there is anything going on at home that could affect your child's learning and well-being at school.

Take a look also at our well-being information here for a few tips on keeping your children happy and healthy.


B&NES council support for families

There is a lot of information and support available in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES). You can see a summary of B&NES family services here 


Call 116 123 or 08457 909090. See the Samaritans website here. This organisation offers support to individuals in distress for any reason.


If you are unhappy about anything and would like to talk to someone please call 0800 11 11. There are people there all the time to listen to you. You can find out more information on the Childline website.

Children's Centres

Children’s Centres are places where parents with children aged 0 – 5 years can share the challenges and joys of parenthood. They offer a range of activities and support services to help you with all aspects of parenting to make sure your child gets the best start in life and improve their life chances. Bath and North East Somerset has 4 main Children’s Centre Hub buildings located across the county offering families of 0 - 5 year olds a variety of services. Children’s Centre services are also provided in a range of venues in local communities so that families can access support close to where they live. Find out more about B&NES Children's Centres here.

LiveWell from B&NES

This is a free online resource to support children and families, young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and adults living independently in the B&NES area.

You will find information about mental health resources and support, groups and activities for all ages, support groups, signposting to organisations on a huge range of topics including practical support, money matters, food banks, low cost uniform, school holiday clubs, Ofsted registered childcare, welfare support and so much more. It is also where you will find information about B&NES’ Local Offer, supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs living in Bath & North East Somerset.

Please visit their website and supporting social media pages to find out more:

B&NES Family Information Service

Use Bathnes 1 Big Database to find information about a range of family related issues such as:

  • Registered childcare, including childminders, nurseries, after school and holiday clubs;
  • Parenting support;
  • Activities, groups and events;
  • 'What's on' for families locally;
  • Baby and toddler groups;
  • Support groups and much more. 

For families with a child with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or an additional need search B&NES Rainbow Resource for:

  • Local and National support organisations;
  • Activities and events;
  • News and events;
  • Resource library.

Are you (or do you care for) an adult in need of care and support? Wellbeing Options supports people in Bath and North East Somerset to live full and independent lives. Find information about:

  • Local care providers;
  • Services and activities;
  • support for carers;
  • Health and wellbeing information;
  • Home and housing;
  • 'What's on' locally.

Southside Family Project

Southside supports individuals and families living in Bath and North East Somerset to make positive changes in their lives. Southside strives to reduce social isolation and to build strong, resilient communities.

Southside is there for you whether you are grappling with problems such as domestic abuse, substance abuse, mental health difficulties; or problems with finance and debt, housing issues or concerns related to education and employment. 

Find out more about Southside here

Citizens Advice

Citizens advice can offer advice and support with:

  • Benefits
  • Work
  • Debt and money
  • Consumer
  • Family
  • Housing
  • Law and courts
  • Immigration
  • Health

For information about how they can help, visit


Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care seeks to help anyone who has been bereaved to understand their grief and cope with their loss. They also offer advice for parents and carers about supporting children who are affected by grief. Services are free to bereaved people. The charity provides support and offers information, advice, education and training services. You can call their free helpline on 0808 808 1677 or  take a look at their website:


Winston’s Wish

Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved children, helps young people re-adjust to life after the death of a parent or sibling. By providing professional assistance before, during and after bereavement they help them to better understand the nature of loss and offer the practical support and guidance that many need in order to cope throughout the grieving process. or call 08088 020 021.

Bereavement UK

This hub provides links to professional bereavement support and information for families:

Bereavement Counselling Directory

A comprehensive list of bereavement support in the UK including counsellors, charities and support groups:

Dorothy House

Dorothy House hospice care provides compassionate care and support for people in the community with a life-limiting illness. 


Advice on how to have difficult conversations with your children from the NSPCC.

Childhood Bereavement UK

Childhood Bereavement UK contains advice on staying connected when someone close is seriously ill and on supporting children and young people through bereavement.

Young Minds

Young Minds for supporting your child with grief and loss.

Grief Encounter

Grief Encounter is a charity supporting bereaved children and young people, with a therapy centre in Bristol.


Bullying UK

Take a look at for support and information about all kinds of bullying including cyber bullying.


Get advice on reporting online abuse from the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

Anti-bullying Alliance

Get advice and support from Anti-Bullying Alliance for children who are being bullied.


This organisation's mission is 'to provide children, families, carers and professionals with advice, training and practical tools to prevent bullying and protect young lives'. Take a look at their website here:, email or contact their parent advice line on 020 7823 5430 (Mon and Tues from 9:30am to 2:30pm).

Drugs & alcohol


This charity supports children and families affected by drugs, giving full and honest information about drugs. You can contact FRANK by phone, text, email or live chat. See the website for full information

Alcoholics Anonymous

A national helpline that supports those having difficulties with or those who are addicted to alcohol. See, call 0800 9177 650 or email


Adfam is dedicated to improving life for families affected by drugs and alcohol. See the Adfam website here. There is help for families here and links to many other useful organisations.


This is a free advisory and referral service available to people who are recovering from alcohol, drug and behavioural addiction. See the website for full information or call 0800 140 4690

Bath & North East Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service

Anyone living in Bath & North East Somerset can get free and confidential help if they are struggling with drugs or alcohol.

Rehab Recovery

Rehab Recovery is an organisation that provides addiction treatment and healthcare advice for a wide range of different addiction and dependency problems. They have a 24/7 help and advice line: 0800 088 66 86 and their website has more information about the services they offer.


Eating disorders


Provides lots of information on eating disorders and support for people who have or are worried they have an eating disorder, as well as others affected, such as friends and family members. Call the helpline on 0808 801 0677, or see  a list of support services here:  and the complete website here:


For information about local specialist services, see the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership website:



If you care for someone or are in need of care, information about services can be found at the Well-Being Options website.

Young carers are children and young people under 18 who care for a sick or disabled relative, including someone who has mental health or severe drug and alcohol problems.

A young carer may also care for their brother(s) or sister(s), maybe because one or both parents is no longer around. Even if another adult is living in the household, the young person may still be the main carer. For BaNES services for young carers, see their information page.

Self harm

The NHS website has comprehensive advice on self harm and how to get help.

Harmless is a charity aimed at supporting people who are at risk of self-harm and suicide. It is a national voluntary organisation for people who self harm, their friends, families and professionals. You can find out more from their website

Weight management

The Children’s Weight Management(CWM) service helps overweight and obese children, young people and their families to reach and maintain a healthier weight. To find out more about their their services, visit

For guidance for adults wanting to achieve a healthy weight, information about the NHS weight loss plan can be found here



Shelter provides support for individuals and families at risk of being homeless. Please see their website here for details of how Shelter can help or, in case of urgent need, you can call 0808 800 4444 (every day of the year from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm at weekends).

Bath and North East Somerset Housing

For information about BaNES housing support services, see their website:

Mental health

Every Mind Matters

Every Mind Matters is an initiave from Public Health England. It provides a free plan, expert advice and practical tips to support positive mental health. 

Young Minds

This organisation offers support to young people and families who may be worried about mental health issues. Take a look at the Young Minds website here for advice on issues including anxiety, eating disorders, depression and OCD.

Parents and young people can contact Young Minds in a variety of ways. Young people who are experiencing a crisis can text YM to 85258. All texts are answered by trained volunteers and texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.


MIND supports individuals and families experiencing mental health problems. See for details including a button for anyone in need of urgent help. Otherwise see a range of contact options here, call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

Emotional health and well-being in B&NES

For a comprehensive guide to local services, visit

Off The Record

Off the Record Bath and North East Somerset provides a range of free services including counselling, listening support, youth participation, advocacy and specialist groups, support for care leavers and a LGBT+ focused youth group.


National Childbirth Trust

The NCT provides support and information in pregnancy, birth and early days of parenthood. See

Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association offers a website and helpline to offer support to those having experienced a miscarriage. See or call the helpline on 01924 200799 (Mon-Fri, 9am - 4pm).

British Pregnancy Advisory Service

BPAS aims to provide support and care for women seeking legal abortion in the UK. See or call 03457 30 40 30.



This is a nationwide service for those needing support with relationship issues. This can mean couple counselling, individual counselling and family counselling. There are local counselling centres that can be accessed in the day or evenings. See for information or call 0300 100 1234.

National Family Mediation

This organisation exists to help families in conflict (especially those divorcing or separating). See for information or call 0300 4000 636.

Family Lives

Family Lives offers support for parents on a wide range of topics.

Domestic violence

Hideout - Help with domestic abuse

Support for victims of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse advice from South Glos Council

Domestic abuse advice from BANES:

Domestic abuse advice from Bristol:


The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service champions the interests of children involved in family proceedings, advising the family courts in England on what it considers to be in the best interests of individual children. See for more information, call 0300 456 4000 or email

Sexual exploitation of children (CSE)

Understanding CSE

Child sexual exploitation can happen to anyone under the age of 18 and it is often a hidden crime. Young people may trust their abuser and don't understand that they are being abused or may depend on their abuser and be too scared to tell anyone what's happening. See the Avon and Somerset Police website for more information, including how to recognise the signs of CSE, how to report it and how to access help and support. You can see a PDF leaflet here that provides advice and support for CSE.

Single parents


An organisation that can provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents. See or call 0808 802 0925.

Family Lives

Family Lives is a charity that supports families by providing professional, non-judgmental support and advice in a way that all members of the family can freely access. They provide this through their helpline, advice on their website, befriending services, and parenting/relationship support groups.


The NHS has information and advice for single parents on their website: