Why play matters – Family Lives

Family Lives provides targeted early intervention and crisis support to families who are struggling. The issues we support families with include family breakdown, challenging relationships and behaviour, debt, and emotional and mental wellbeing.

Family Lives was formed over forty years ago by volunteers, with the aim of ensuring that all parents had somewhere to turn before they reached crisis point. We know that the right support at the right time makes all the difference. Family Lives was formally registered as a charity in 1999, and operated under the name of Parentline Plus. The charity’s original formation as Parentline was founded in response to the tragic child abuse case of Maria Colwell in 1973, who was killed by her step-father. The parents that founded Parentline believed that there needed to be a dedicated organisation supporting parents, before they reached crisis point which could result in abuse. A merger in 1999 between the National Stepfamilies Association, Parentline and Parent Network built on the collective experience of these three charities, to provide a range of national and local services to support parents and families across the country.

We know the difference being able to access appropriate, timely support can make to families in crisis, knowing there is someone at the end of the phone who will listen to them. And we know the longer term impact of early intervention with families, such as through the ParentChild+ programme, which supports the home-learning environment, and our family befriending programmes.

The expertise of our staff and volunteers is at the heart of everything we do, and we work together with them to support families through our range of services. We have always been a volunteer-led organisation and we simply could not do it without our 300+ volunteers, who work alongside our dedicated staff team. Many of our volunteers began their relationship with us as service users but have stayed to support others on their journey – a testament to the support they themselves received.

Our crisis support, provided for over 40 years through our helpline, has always been at the heart of what we do. Over the last year, demand has continued to outstrip our ability to help as many families as we want to. We have built up long-standing programmes in the areas we work in across England, providing support to thousands of families through our befriending services.

Our vision: Families should have access to active support and understanding.

Our mission: We build better family lives together.

Our values: We value being compassionate, collaborative and trustworthy

Family Lives provides targeted early intervention and crisis support to families who are struggling. The issues we support families with include family breakdown, challenging relationships and behaviour, debt, and emotional and mental wellbeing.

Family Lives was formed over forty years ago by volunteers, with the aim of ensuring that all parents had somewhere to turn before they reached crisis point. We know that the right support at the right time makes all the difference. Family Lives was formally registered as a charity in 1999, and operated under the name of Parentline Plus. The charity’s original formation as Parentline was founded in response to the tragic child abuse case of Maria Colwell in 1973, who was killed by her step-father. The parents that founded Parentline believed that there needed to be a dedicated organisation supporting parents, before they reached crisis point which could result in abuse. A merger in 1999 between the National Stepfamilies Association, Parentline and Parent Network built on the collective experience of these three charities, to provide a range of national and local services to support parents and families across the country.

We know the difference being able to access appropriate, timely support can make to families in crisis, knowing there is someone at the end of the phone who will listen to them. And we know the longer term impact of early intervention with families, such as through the ParentChild+ programme, which supports the home-learning environment, and our family befriending programmes.

The expertise of our staff and volunteers is at the heart of everything we do, and we work together with them to support families through our range of services. We have always been a volunteer-led organisation and we simply could not do it without our 300+ volunteers, who work alongside our dedicated staff team. Many of our volunteers began their relationship with us as service users but have stayed to support others on their journey – a testament to the support they themselves received.

Our crisis support, provided for over 40 years through our helpline, has always been at the heart of what we do. Over the last year, demand has continued to outstrip our ability to help as many families as we want to. We have built up long-standing programmes in the areas we work in across England, providing support to thousands of families through our befriending services.

Our vision: Families should have access to active support and understanding.

Our mission: We build better family lives together.

Our values: We value being compassionate, collaborative and trustworthy

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