Nobody ever said parenting was easy, in fact, we think it can be one of the most challenging jobs there is. But it is also one of the most rewarding.
Whether you’re a mum, dad, grandparent or carer, we could all use a little help and support along the way. There may be times when you feel that you need a bit of extra information, advice or support to help you handle some of difficulties or challenges that come with looking after children.
Doncaster Family Hubs work with different providers to deliver a range of activities, services and information for you and your family. Family Hubs work with families from conception, through childhood and into adolescents (0 to 18 yrs or up to 25yrs if the young person has Special Education Needs or Disability).
Families can access different activities such as 'First Friends' and 'My Baby and Me', you can find more activities available on the timetables which is located on the Family Hubs page. Six of the Family Hubs also have sensory rooms which are available to be booked by families free of charge.
Parenting programmes can help you develop better relationships with your children and teenagers, which can then help build self-esteem and emotional security. Programmes usually take place in local venues such as family hubs or schools. A typical programme runs once a week and last between 6 to 8 weeks.
Free Online Solihull Approach Programme
Doncaster Council and other partners have commissioned a new online parenting programme for all parents, carers and grandparents in Doncaster. The programme is completely free and can be completed on any computer or mobile device with internet access. The programme can be accessed at any time, day or night, to fit around a your busy life.
There are three courses for you to choose from and you can complete all three or just the one that is most appropriate for you. The courses include understanding your pregnancy, understanding your baby and understanding your child, which covers the teenage year.
Visit the Solihull Approach Programme using your Doncaster postcode and access code STGEORGE to gain this free support and advice.
You can find more helpful information below:
- Family lives - Find advice on all aspects of family life from bonding with your new baby, dealing with tantrums, positive discipline and bullying.
- Positive parenting - This guide shares practical advice and tips for positive parenting techniques that work well for children - from babies to teenagers.
- Dealing with difficult behaviour - NHS advice on dealing with child behaviour problems.
- Click: Getting It Right for Children - A short course for parents (not free of charge)
If a child or young person (anyone aged under 16 or 18 years old if they are disabled), is being cared for by someone other than a parent or close relative for more than 28 days they are being privately fostered. Doncaster Children's Service Trust need to know about these arrangements.
If you have been providing private foster care, or your child has been living with a private foster carer, and you were not aware, you needed to tell the Children’s Trust. Don't worry just contact Children's Trust to make them aware of the situation.
Dads and Partners
Just because your partner is the one carrying the baby, that doesn't mean the pregnancy has no impact on you. A new baby means new responsibilities and sometimes you too may need a spot of information, advice and support. Here are some websites that provide hints and tips, and recognise the huge contribution that you will play in your little ones life.
- Advice for dad’s to be
- Advice for partners
- Pregnancy, birth and beyond for dads and partners
- Support for single dads
It’s normal for families to argue at home BUT if they are becoming a problem then help is at hand. A new website called Relationship Matters is here for you and your family if you think you’re struggling. Whether couples are together or separated, disagreements are completely normal but evidence shows that regular conflict can have a big impact on children. The website is full of useful advice and how you can access support. It can help you see how your behaviour might be making things worse in your home. Stay calm and work it out.
- Self-help and other resources to support interparental relationships
- Download (220KB - PDF)
Sometimes, marriages and relationships end in divorce or separation and couples have to go their separate ways. If you have children, it’s important that your break-up goes as smoothly as possible to have as little impact on them as you can manage. There are lots of places that you can find support and help. For example, Relate and The Money Advice Service.
Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. They are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and they represents children in family court cases by making sure that their voices are heard and decisions are made in their best interests. Cafcass can also provide information for parents and carers.
From time to time, families may have difficulties caring for their children. This can be for a range of reasons, from family bereavement to parent and carers having health problems or personal difficulties. In these circumstances, families may be involved with lots of outside agencies and it may sometimes feel that the professionals are making all the decisions, Family Group Conferences (FGC) can make it easier for you and your family to be involved and have your voice heard.
It can be very difficult bringing up a child on your own. A lot of single parents rely on help from family and friends. Finding other people in the same situation can also be a good source of support. The charity Gingerbread supports single parent families to live secure, happy and fulfilling lives.
Benefits and Child Maintenance for Single Parents
Child Maintenance Service (CMS) supports separated parents agree on an arrangement for child maintenance. If you would like to use the Child Maintenance Service, you'll need to contact them on - 0800 988 0988.
If you are unsure what benefits you could be claiming the benefit calculator will let you know what benefits you may be entitled to.
Parent Carer Needs Assessment
The aim of a parent carer’s needs assessment is to give you a chance to tell professionals in Doncaster about the things that could make looking after your disabled child easier for you. The assessment focuses on you as a parent and your needs. We will discuss issues such as the help you need, and whether there is anyone else who helps or if you are your child’s only carer. The parent carer’s needs assessment will also consider your wellbeing, including health and safety issues, and important commitments like relationships and employment.