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.
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.
If you are concerned about a child
Everyone has a responsibility for protecting and safeguarding children, not just the ‘professionals’.
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 a child is in immediate danger or left alone, call the Police on 999.
Organisations to contact for help and advice
- Barnardo's - national charity supporting vulnerable children
- Bedfordshire Against CSE - information for parents/carers, and young people on what CSE is, how to spot the signs, and what to do if you're concerned about it.
- Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership - information on where to go for help and local support services. 24 hour Helpline 0808 2000 247
- CAFCASS - Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.
- CAMHS - Children and adolescent mental health service for East London, Luton and Bedfordshire
- CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) - What to do if you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online
- Child Accident Prevention Trust - Child safety advice for parents and carers
- Childline - Children and young people can call the helpline on 0800 1111 about any problem, at any time - day or night.
- Cruse Bereavement Care - Offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies. Free helpline: 0808 808 1677
- Frank - Confidential service offering advice, support with drugs and alcohol issues for all ages.Phone: 0800 776 600
- Kidscape - advice on how to deal with bullying
- Let's Talk About It - practical help and guidance to the public to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 01582 473080
- Mind BLMK (Bedford) - mental health support and advice
- National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is a UK charity providing children's rights and socio-legal services. It offers information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children and
- NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) UK charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.
- Pace - Parents Against Sexual Exploitation. Pace works alongside parents and carers of children who are – or are at risk of being – sexually exploited by perpetrators external to the family.
- Samaritans Tel: 0845 7909090 Provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide
- Think! - Road safety campaigns.
- Thinkuknow.co.uk is a website designed to raise awareness of the dangers of the internet.