Family Lives is a charity with over three decades of experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life. We know that many people play active roles in raising children, from dads and mums, grandparents, stepparents and non-resident parents. Our role is to support all of you to achieve the best relationship possible with the children that you care about, as well as supporting parenting professionals. We recognise that the best way to support families is to provide professional, non-judgmental support and advice in a way that all members of the family can freely access. We provide this through our 24 hour helpline, extensive advice on our website, our email and live chat services, befriending services, and parenting/relationship support groups.
We get calls from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, neighbours and friends who all want the same thing - to try and make things better. Many callers get in touch with us when they are at the end of their tether and feel like they can't cope anymore. Sometimes callers are embarrassed about asking for help but they soon find that just talking things through can really make a difference. If you have a problem, don't wait until you feel things get out of control.
Welcome to Happy Steps, the UK's only research based stepfamily resource centre. Stepfamilies are now the fastest growing family type in the UK. It's estimated that 1 in 3 of all families are now stepfamilies. Despite this, there is very little help and support available. Happy steps has been designed to gather together a whole range of services to help families and individuals strengthen their stepfamilies and to provide training and tools for organisations and family professionals.
We're constantly adding to the site to offer as much support to stepfamilies as possible, so do come back from time to time to see how we've changed!
Becoming a step parent comes with some major implications for you, your relationship and your new family. It could be that you do not already have children, and have gained an entire family almost overnight. BeingAStepParent contains over 90 articles written by experts who continually update and add new content.
The Childless Stepmums Forum was created to help women with stepfamilies and no children of their own come to terms with their new environment. If this refers to you, here is a place for you to vent your frustrations, seek advice and take comfort and assurance from the fact that you are not alone. You will find lots of women in your situation here with their own stories and experiences - many of which you will be able relate to. If something specific is troubling you or you simply want to talk about your own circumstances, this is the place to do it.
A unique local network for Mums (or Dads), offering a wealth of information on both a national and local level. Once registered, you can access details for all kinds of local resources, from child-friendly cafes to childminders, places to go etc.
Grandparents Plus is the national charity which champions the vital role of grandparents and the wider family in children’s lives – especially when they take on the caring role in difficult family circumstances. We do this by:- Campaigning for change so that their contribution to children’s wellbeing and care is valued and understood. Providing evidence, policy solutions and training so that they get the services and support they need to help children thrive. Advising and supporting grandparents and wider family members to ensure they have access to a holistic service, offering them professional advice, information and casework support; and by ensuring that they can have a voice and help each other, especially when they are caring for children who are not living with their parents.
ChildLine is a counselling service for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine in these ways: You can phone on 0800 1111, send us an email, have a 1-2-1 chat with us, send a message to Ask Sam and you can post messages to the ChildLine message boards. You can contact ChildLine about anything - no problem is too big or too small. If you are feeling scared or out of control or just want to talk to someone you can contact ChildLine.