Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

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Parents and Carers

Parents/ Carers

Your job as a parent is one of the most difficult there is - it can be both challenging and rewarding.

It is a job where very little training is given to prepare parents for what lies ahead.

Patterns of family life vary and there is no one, perfect way to bring up children. Good parenting involves caring for children's basic needs, keeping them safe, showing them warmth and love and providing the stimulation needed for their development and to help them achieve their potential, within a stable environment where they experience consistent guidance and boundaries. Parenting can be challenging. Parents themselves require and deserve support. Asking for help should be seen as a sign of responsibility rather than as a parenting failure.

When things go wrong it does not mean that someone has failed - things go wrong for everyone.

It is often the way difficulties are handled that can make a difference to your children, both now and in the future.

There is no such thing as the perfect parent. However, there are some ways that you can make it a less stressful and more rewarding experience.

We want to help you ensure that all children in Bedford Borough are healthy, happy, safe, achieve their best and become responsible citizens. It is hoped this page and helpful guidelines can offer some ideas and information to help you find your way through what can be a maze of issues and advice. It gives contacts and further information you can follow up when you are deciding how to deal with your worries and difficulties. We have also listed some of the warning signs of particular difficulties and offer helpful tips.


Please click here for a Useful links and websites guide


Help for adults concerned about a child

Help and advice

0808 800 5000

 Worried about a child Worried about a child? How you can protect children from abuse leaflet 


NSPCC - The Underwear Rule

Teach your child the Underwear Rule and help protect them from abuse.

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse - without using scary words or mentioning sex. Please click here to be re-directed to the NSPCC website page.

NSPCC have developed a simple guide for parents, and a child-friendly version, to help you talk PANTS with your child. Remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them - guide on talking tips. Parents questions you may have about teaching your child the Underwear Rule - Read questions and answers

The NSPCC and Mencap have launched a new version of the successful Underwear Rule campaign. They have produced a guide to help parents teach children who have a learning disability about sexual abuse. Follow this link to take you to the leaflet. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/advice-and-info/underwear-rule-children-learning-disabilities-english.pdf.  The NSPCC's Underwear Rule campaign is being made more accessible to Eastern European communities in the UK. The easy-to-read guides have now been translated in to Russian, Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian.

Further information:

Underwear rule - Latvian version (PDF)

Underwear rule - Lithuanian version (PDF)

Underwear rule - Polish version (PDF)

Underwear rule - Russian version (PDF)

Underwear rule - children with Autism

Underwear rule - deaf children



Use of photos on websites and in other publications

The use of photos on websites and in other publications poses direct and indirect risks to children and young people. Organisations wishing to use images of the children they work with or are otherwise in contact with must therefore have a policy in place to safeguard the children involved. Please click here for guidance

Parents protect logo

Parents Protect - Confidential information and advice from the Stop It Now campaign

If you are concerned about a child

Everyone has a responsibility for protecting and safeguarding children, not just the ‘professionals’.

If you suspect or believe a child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, including any form of mistreatment or abuse, you should report your concerns.



If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police  or call an Ambulance  (Call 999).

The police operator will need to take your name, address and details of what has happened. This will take time, but it is important to get all of the information from you so that we can send the appropriate resources to you if necessary.

If you think a child or young person is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, you must speak to someone immediately. You can ring the Multi Agency Support Hub (MASH) on 01234 718700 (office hours) or ring 0300 300 8123 (out of hours).



If you want to discuss your concerns or need advice e.g. if you not sure whether your concerns are justified, you would like more information about issues like confidentiality or you would like to know what happens next (after you have reported your concerns), do one of the following:



Call NSPCC on Tel: 0808 800 5000 or Text: 88858. Email: help@nspcc.org.uk


The NSPCC has published guidance for parents on how to spot the signs of child sexual abuse. It sets out the signs that might indicate a child is being sexually abused, and where to go for information, support and advice. Click here for the guidance.


Updates to National documents

Working Together to Safeguard Children updated July 2018 - click here for updated version

Information Sharing - Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers updated July 2018 - updated version here