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Support for Parents and Carers

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs especially as children don't come with a handbook! We could all do with some additional information and support from time to time. Find out more what parenting support and advice is available in York and also information on help with financial costs too.

Early Help for Families

Early Help is a way of describing the extra support a family can receive if they need it. Early help is all about providing the right support to children and families at the earliest possible time; it brings together workers who can support the whole family to try and improve things for everyone. You can find more information at   

If you can't find what you are after contact York Family Information Service  tel 01904 554444 or email who will be happy to help, or visit our online services search directory.  


It is not nice to think that your child is being bullied.  Bullying is all too common and can happen to anyone at any age. Being bullied at school, home, or online might involve:

  • verbal bullying e.g. calling you names
  • emotional bullying e.g. teasing you, talking about you, leaving you out
  • physical bullying e.g. pushing you, hitting you
  • cyber-bullying e.g. text message, Facebook, email

If you feel or know you child is being bullied the first step is to talk to their school.

Each school will have their own policy on behaviour and bullying. Please refer to your child's school website.

Advice and support is also available from a range of websites which can be searched for using our online search.

Family Learning and York Learning

Family Learning and York Learning deliver courses, workshops and sessions to support parents and families in York. Courses offered are often linked with children's learning and development and some courses include support with digital skills and technology.

Parents and carers who are more confident and take an active interest in learning themselves act as positive role models for their children. If you want to give your child a good start, or are considering a career working in schools or childcare settings, check out the courses offered by Family Learning and the wider range of courses provided by the York Learning team.

Financial Support for families

Available benefits can include support with Free School Meals, help towards school uniform, council tax support, local housing allowance and housing benefit.

Childcare Choices list the different financial support available to families from toddlers to teens. 

NHS exemptions find out if your are eligible for free prescriptions or dental check ups and treatment.

Sure Start Maternity Grant for families who qualify, is a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child.

Fostering and Adoption


Fostering is about looking after children in a safe and secure environment when they can't live with their own families.

Following incidents such as family difficulties, illness or drug related problems it is sometimes best for a child to be placed in a foster home.

Private Fostering

Private fostering is when someone, who is not a close relative*, cares for another person's child (aged up to 16 (under 18, if disabled)) for 28 days or more. Although this is done by private arrangement, the parent and the carer has a legal obligation to notify the local authority where the child is going to live, so that the local authority can ensure that the child is being looked after properly.


Adoption is the legal process by which a child who cannot be brought up by their own parents legally becomes a full and permanent member of a new family and the adoptive parents gain full parental responsibility of the child. 

Family Rights Group

The Family Rights Group work with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home. They offer a free and confidential telephone and digital advice service providing legal and practical advice to families and much more. Follow the link above to the website or email:  or free phone: 0808 801 0366

Online Safety guide

The Internet is part of many people's day to day life and as parents, it's important to understand what children and young people are doing online. 

Safer Children York has lots of information to help keep children and young people safe online.

Parenting Courses

Children and young people can face a lot of different challenges throughout their childhood, including growing and changing friendships, the birth of siblings, moving home or school, academic pressures or changing family dynamics.

Parenting courses can help you learn strategies that can help you to support your child to regulate their behaviour and emotions.  

York Family Information Service can support you to find courses to increase confidence and receive support when parenting children and young people when these different challenges arise. We have listed the details of some parenting course providers in the city who offer both online and face to face parenting courses in settings.

If you are unsure of which course would be suitable for you, you could contact the providers below to discuss your concerns and they will be able to advise you on which course would be the most appropriate to provide the parenting support you need. Parenting courses can help you learn strategies that can help you to support your child to regulate their behaviour and emotions.  

Bright Sparks

Bright Sparks deliver a range of courses including developing emotional resilience for parents, held at various venues across York. Please visit their website for further information.

Family Matters York

Family Matters York deliver a range of parenting and relationship programmes, across York. For further information please visit their website.

Online parenting courses

Netmums Parenting Course - this course has been put together with Family Links. It aims to give parents faith in their own abilities.

Parents Together Online - six interactive blocks filled with helpful techniques and ideas, covering; promoting well being, the power of communication, understanding behaviour, positive behaviour, play, and boundaries.

Parents and carers health and wellbeing

Live Well York logo volourful blocksLive Well York provides information on groups and services aimed at York residents aged 18+.

As a parent we can often forget about ourselves and what makes us tick and what support we may need or when looking after older members of our families.

Find out about services, activities and groups for any adult aged 18+ and living in York.

Relationships Matter

All relationships have tricky moments it is how they’re experienced and resolved that matters. The Relationships Matter website can give tips on how to improve your relationship, help you work out what needs to happen and signpost you to organisations that can help.

Relationships and sexual health

The Family Planning Association website has tips and advice on how to talk to your child about growing up, relationships and sex. 

Safeguarding children and young people

Tackling child sexual exploitation is everyone’s responsibility.  "It's not OK - child sexual abuse and exploitation" raises awareness about signs of child sexual exploitation and abuse, what to do if you suspect abuse or exploitation and and tips for talking to your children.

Separated Families

There are lots of local and national services to support separated families including child contact matters, further information is below and you can also search for family and parenting support online, using our online search facility.

Child Contact Arrangements

Depending on your circumstances you may be able to arrange contact with the other parent amicably.  Where this may not be possible you will need to seek support from elsewhere, here are some services that can help you:

York Citizens Advice




Child Maintenance

The information which Child Maintenance Options has provided is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

York FIS