Section 4: Can I get help from Children’s Services?

Mothers used to get help but, in our experience, this has become progressively less available in the last 20 years or so, and little or no help is offered now. Large numbers of family centres have been closed and what services are available are underfunded, understaffed and often have waiting lists, for example Sure Start centres. We are trying to reverse this trend by asking for what we are entitled to, for example under Section 17 of the Children Act, and insisting on getting it. But asking for help can be double-edged because it invites social workers into your life . . . so think carefully before you decide whether to approach them and think carefully what to ask for! And again, put everything in writing.

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