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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