Family support service

Bringing up children is exciting and enjoyable but it is also demanding, tiring and stressful. We all need help at times as none of us are trained to be parents.

The Family Support Service is committed to delivering services, in partnership with families and other professionals, which protect and promote the welfare of children in need who live within a community setting. It is our priority to offer support to enable you and your family to live safely together. We work to make our services accessible for all sections of the community and involve our service users in their design and delivery. Our services are responsive to individual needs.

We are part of Poole Children and Young People's Social Care and have a large team based at the Ted Webster Family Centre. We work with families with children assessed as being 'In Need' to improve life chances, by preventing family breakdown and subsequent need for children to come into care.

We also help children return to their family when they have been looked after by the local authority and help prevent breakdown of fostering placements. This may involve supporting some 16 to 17 year olds to live independently, depending on their needs.

The services we offer are based not only at the Ted Webster Family Centre but also in the community, at youth centres and in family’s own homes.

What help we can offer

All help is planned and agreed by those involved (especially the family) in a regularly reviewed ‘Children in Need Plan’. We help families to help themselves. The help depends on what is needed and may focus on:

  • the behaviour of a child 
  • improving parenting skills 
  • providing advice and support to the parents, child or other siblings 
  • accessing other services such as specialist counselling or parenting groups if needed 
  • improving family links with the local community

Some of the ways in which we can offer help include:

  • helping parents to successfully meet the needs of their children 
  • providing support to your family to enable you to live together better 
  • providing opportunities for you to learn how to deal with problems and become more confident 
  • services that recognise that all children and adults have different needs, and to respond to those needs 
  • preventing family breakdown and the subsequent need for children to become ‘looked after’ 
  • thinking creatively with families about extended or ‘kinship’ family care for children 
  • helping families and children to be reunited following a period of accommodation (in care) 
  • helping foster carers and ‘looked after’ children to promote more stable placements 
  • providing support and services that work with you to protect your children from harm 

Organisations we work with

We work very closely with the child, his or her family and all other professional agencies that may be involved such as:

How to receive family support

To receive family support, an assessment of your child and families needs need to take place to ensure that Social Services are best placed to meet these needs. Your involvement in this assessment is important, as it is our aim to support you to safely parent your child.

If you would like someone to contact you regarding our family support services please telephone 01202 123334 or email and ask for the Assessment Team.

Further information

If you want any further information, you can telephone us on 01202 123334 or email

Here are some other websites which may be useful:

Page last updated: 07 September 2021
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