'I'm worried about my child's eating habits' Parent Support from Action For Children
Everyone has different eating habits. But if you’re worried about your child’s relationship with food or their body, it might be worth looking for some support.
If your child’s eating habits negatively affect their everyday life, they may have an eating disorder. This is when someone uses food to cope with certain situations or feelings. Teenagers between 13 and 17 are most at risk, but anyone can have an eating disorder.
It can be helpful to know the signs and what to do if you’re worried about your child.
For more information go to Action for Children
Family Ties - Free Parental Conflict Programme for Parents
As part of their work supporting children in families, the Anna Freud Centre have developed Family Ties Online Help, a programme for parents, together or separated, who want to reduce the impact of parental conflict and/or communication difficulties on their children.
Family Ties is an online 10 week intervention aimed towards parents who want to work together more effectively as co-parents to support the well-being of their children. They accept referrals directly from parents or through professionals, social workers or GPs.
At the moment, they have a small number of FREE places available on this programme. Places will be offered on a first come first served process. For more information, or to make a referral, email email@example.com.
ICAN - Talking Point
Talking Point is there to help parents who are concerned about their child’s development. The website has a wealth of information to help you understand and support children and young people’s speech, language and communication.
Find out more by visiting I CAN's Talking Point
NDCS The Buzz: New website for deaf young people
The National Deaf Children's Society have re-designed their website for deaf young people. The Buzz is the only website for deaf young people aged 8 to 18 in the UK. It is a safe, online space created by deaf young people for deaf young people. The new features mean that deaf young people now have a platform where they can read inspiring stories, connect with others like them, find the latest information and support, sign up to events, ask questions and get involved. Have a look at this YouTube clip or visit the NDCS website to find out more.
Early Help is the extra support your family can get if you need it. It may be that you want to prevent a problem, or change things for your family before the problem becomes more serious.
It is not a specific service or team, it’s an approach that brings together people from a range of services and teams who will work together with your whole family to help improve the situation for everyone.
It can offer support to families from pre-birth to adolescents with all sorts of issues from parenting, employment and school attendance to emotional wellbeing or anti-social behaviour.
Support for people, businesses and families
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to put a huge financial strain on some families. Employment situations are changing rapidly and for some their income now no longer covers what they need or they have lost their jobs completely.
Help is available. If you know someone who is worrying about money and how to pay for basic household essentials, please encourage them to apply for extra assistance through funding that that has been made available via District Council’s hardship funds.
You can find out what support is available in Devon by clicking here , including how to apply for financial help, where to find foodbanks and community larders, free meals during the school holidays and what to do if you’re on a low income and need to self-isolate.
BullyingUK( part of ‘family lives’)
What to do if you're being bullied on a social network
Bullying on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok
The Bullying on social networks - Family Lives page offers advice and guidance on what to do if you are being bullied on a social network, as well as safety tips. There are also links to guides for young people and adults on cyber bullying and harassment.
Mums4achange are offering a free 8 week Zoom group on Wednesdays, especially for mum's of children with additional needs. A chance to build a toolkit to help navigate lifes ups and downs in a small, friendly group of others who 'get it'.
It is run by Jo Ball, a life and career coach, trainer, mum of two, with an Arts Therapy background. Supported by Clare Gale, a trained counsellor who has a son with complex medical needs.
12.30-2.30 from 21st April 2021
To book a space please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thrive - Wellbeing Toolkit Resources
Thrive is a leading provider of support for children and young people's social and emotional development. Tools and training grounded in established neuroscience, attachment theory, child development, and play and the creative arts.
They have recently produced a selection of free resources aimed at both primary and secondary aged children. The resources include 'Supporting children after lockdown', a 'Wellbeing Kit' and even a 'Survival kit for parents/carers'.
'Daisy Chain' - Virtual Support Service
Daisy Chain offer a telephone service 0800 031 5445 to enable families to access advice, support and resources. The service is open to young people, adults and families of those affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. Our aim is to provide support and services for those who display traits associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sensory processing differences, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The service is for those pre, during and post diagnosis.
You can find out more on the website National Telephone Support Service | Daisy Chain Project, or by sending an email to email@example.com
Beat – Eating Disorders
Beat has a wide range of information on their website. They also have a Helpline and their new video-based Peer Support Service - Solace.
Find out more on their Beat The UK's Eating Disorder Charity website
Social Enterprise Proud2Be currently run a weekly online youth group for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or questioning+) young people aged 11-19 (up to 25 if you have special educational needs and/or disabilities) where you’re able to meet with other young people in a comfortable and safe environment, access information, and join in with fun activities.
It is running between 17:00-19:00 every Monday via Zoom
Discord Proud2Be Youth Workers also offer 1-2-1 practical and emotional support.
For more information and/or to request a call-back from a youth worker either visit the proud 2 be youth website, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01803 362083
Kidscape Parent Advice Line - Bullying
Kidscape offer friendly, impartial, non-judgemental information, advice and support to parents, carers and family members who are concerned about their child or young person being bullied. They offer a dedicated Parent Advice telephone and email contact.
Parents can call 020 7823 5430 or send an email to Parentsupport@kidscape.org.uk.
[If the telephone line is busy, please try again later or leave a clear message with your name and number and an advisor will call back]
The AFC Crisis Messenger
The AFC Crisis Messenger text service is a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. The service is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better.
We can help with issues such as anxiety, worry, panic attacks, bullying and depression and are here to talk at any time of day or night.
If you need support, you can text AFC to 85258 or for further information click here
Happy Confident Company
The Happy Confident Company help children and families thrive by developing their emotional intelligence and their confidence. Keep healthy, emotionally fit and have a good few giggles with this FREE family board game from them. Amongst other resources, you can print out The Bee Happy board game and playing cards at home, and get set on a journey of exercises that promote physical and mental wellbeing
If you're concerned about the mental health of a young person aged 11 to 24 years old, why not check out Kooth, the UK’s leading digital mental health platform. It's an online mental wellbeing community that offers free and confidential mental health support to young people in Devon. Find out more about Kooth on the Kooth.com website which has recently unveiled its “Don’t Do It Alone” campaign. It is designed to encourage open conversations around mental health so children and young people know they are not alone with their struggles.
Anna Freud's 'On My Mind' for Young People
'On My Mind' aims to empower young people to make informed choices about the mental health support they want, the treatments they receive and the outcomes they desire.
The free digital resources are designed for use by children and young people between the ages of 10 – 25 who are thinking about looking for support, who may be receiving or waiting to receive support, or for those who want help and information about self-managing their own mental health and wellbeing.
Anna Freud's National Centre for Children and Families website offers a wealth of information and support.
Click here to find out more
Anna Freud - Parents and Carers
The Parents and Carers Resources on the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and their Families website offer advice and guidance to help support the children and young people who may be struggling with poor mental health.
The aim is to offer support to parents and carers who are trying to navigate the mental health system on behalf of or in support of a child or young person and to highlight the importance of looking after yourself as a parent or care, amongst many other things.
Click here to find out more of what is on offer.
Free 'Introduction to PDA' webinar
The PDA Society has recorded a free 20 minute introductory webinar about PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)
- What demand avoidance is
- How PDA relates to autism
- The key features of PDA
- Why identifying PDA is helpful and much more....
Click here to watch the webinar
‘Stormbreak’ wish to create more happy, healthy humans using short videos and activities to act as a ‘break’ from the storm. Activities include 'classroom rockstars', 'making friends with a creature' and many more.
Their aim is to improve children’s mental health through movement, equipping them with sustainable, transferable skills and coping strategies to thrive during the complex demands of growth into adult life, by working on:
- Hope and Optimism
Click here to find out more.
ThinkNinja is a mental health app designed for 10 to 18 year olds. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well.
How to access ThinkNinja - FREE During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Before coronavirus, ThinkNinja was a commissioned service only, made available in parts of the country through the NHS, schools, local authorities as well as charities working with young people. Access was then provided to all aged 10-18 years old via an access code.
DURING THE CORONAVIRUS, ThinkNinja IS FREELY AVAILABLE TO ALL.
Click here to find out more
Devon Foodbanks and Community Larders
There are a number of foodbanks and community larders in Devon that provide emergency food and support to individuals and families. Please do not struggle, help is there.
Click here and type in your postcode to find out more.
Childnet for Parents
Supporting Young People Online
Childnet have produced information leaflets for parents on how to support their children using the internet. The leaflets are available to download in a range of languages by clicking here
Leaflets available: Arabic, Bengali, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh.
Space* Youth Services
Space* are offering a variety of services during the current restrictions:
- 'Call Back Offer' – chat with a Youth Worker either by phone or text
- 'Zoom Sessions' – Group video sessions for Youth Club members
- 'Discord Virtual Youth Club' – Online Youth Club for young people aged 13+
- 'No Blocks' – Online sessions for young people aged 11-19 with SEND
On the space website there is a link that young people can follow to 'Speak to a Youth Worker' - this is a very simple on line form that young people can fill in - they will then get a call back within two working days. The information on the service and the online form can be found on the website by clicking here.
If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis, you can text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free, 24/7 support, by texting YM to 85258.
We know that finding the right support is important, especially if you need someone to talk to immediately. YoungMinds aim to connect every texter to a trained volunteer promptly, to provide crisis help. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.
Click here for more information
Devon Young Carers Card
Devon Young Carers are able to provide a card for young carers to carry who either need to go out to shops on their own during lockdown or who are not leaving the house for exercise due to feelings of anxiety about being challenged whilst out.
Young carers need to be registered with the service and have had an assessment. If Early Help colleagues are working with families with a young carer where this would be helpful, they can get in contact either with the allocated young carers worker or click here to send an email.
If new young carers are identified due to COVID please do continue to refer using the form found at the bottom of the page here .
Please click here for information about young carers in general and what the service is able to provide.
The Children’s Society
Young people know it’s good to talk about their feelings, but The Children’s Society recognise that talking to your children about their wellbeing isn’t always easy, so let them help you start the conversation. Find out how to support your child through self-esteem, stress and anxiety issues.
The website is full of information for Young People and their parents/carers on subjects including body image, anger, emotional resilience, bullying, stress and much more.
Please click here to access the website.
Internet Matters Free Online Advice
Supporting families online. Get expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly.
From age-specific online safety checklists to guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, you’ll find a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world. Click here to visit the website.
'Uplift' are there to support local families with young children. Although the support currently offered may be differnet during lockdown, 'Uplift' are still able to provide materials for families with children under 5 yrs, at their request.
They can support with clothing, nappies, accessories, toys and books, co-ordinated with CHAT food bank (01884 255606).
Uplift are also able to promote “family friendly materials” (e.g. books, games) and provide a Facebook forum ( UpliftTiverton ) for families to communicate/entertain their children.
Click here to access the website for more information.
YMCA Exeter - Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Service
Do you know a young person who would appreciate some extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic?
YMCA Exeter are offering a free psychological wellbeing service for 5-18 year olds and offer support and intervention for low-mood, anxiety, and behavioural difficulties. For more information click here to visit the website or if you prefer to speak to someone from the team or ask questions about the service they offer, please contact them on 01392 410530 or click here to send an email.
AFASIC - Voice for Life Help and Support
AFASIC is a national charity that supports parents who are concerned that their child has speech, language and communication needs and/or if their child is not talking or saying as much as other children they age.
Click here to access the AFASIC website with helpful resources.
The AFASIC parent helpline is open 10.30am – 4:00pm Monday & Wednesday to discuss any worries and/or concerns that parents have about their child’s needs, what help they need and how to get it, on 0300 666 9410.They offer a ‘listening ear’ if you just want to talk to someone who understands. No query is too small or too silly. If you are worried or even just want to check there’s nothing else you need to know or do, please get in touch.
ChatHealth Text a School Nurse Service
ChatHealth offer young people, aged 11-19 years, the chance to text a School Nurse if they would like some advice and support.
They can help with all kinds of things including: relationships, bullying, self harm, mental health, drug and/or alcohol issues, smoking and much more.
Send a text to 07520 631722 for confidential advice and support.
ChatHealth offer a confidential advice and support text service for parents who would like some advice from a Health Visitor.
They can help with Child Health and Development, Sleep and Feeding Routines, Mental Health and much more.
Text 07520 631 721
The aim is to ensure that young carers are aware of their rights and have a right to an assessment of their own needs. In Devon, that is undertaken by Devon Young Carers (Westbank), who, after receiving a referral for an assessment , will consider the following:
- Whether it is appropriate for the young carer to provide, or continue to provide, care.
- The young carer’s needs for support, their other needs and wishes
- If any of the young carer’s needs for support could be prevented by providing services to the person cared for, or another member of the young carer’s family
The Young Carers Service Team can be contacted on 03456 434 435 or here via email
X-PLORE LGBTQ Youth Groups
Providing a safe and empowering developmental space for LGBTQ young people in Devon
Click here to find out more
ACT Early - Radicalisation
Research shows that family and friends are best placed to spot the signs that someone might be vulnerable to radicalisation. If you’re worried someone close to you is being radicalised, act early and reach out for help. The team give advice and guidance, and together with other organisations, can put the right support in place. Without it, your loved one could be drawn down a dangerous path, so they will work with you to help them escape it. The ‘ACT Early’ website is designed to increase awareness of the signs of radicalisation, where to go for help and support and to increase understanding and confidence in the referral process.
Space* launch new online sessions for young people with SEND
Space*, who deliver our youth services, have just announced new online sessions for young people in Devon with special educational needs and disabilities.
‘No Blocks’ offer SEND young people aged 11-19 a safe place to go online, connecting them to other young people and giving them something to do in a fun supporting environment. There are a wide range of activities, fun and games on offer, so there should be something for everyone!
Sessions are supported by youth workers and run every Monday 4.30-5.30pm and every Friday 5pm-6pm on Zoom.
Child Mind Institute
44 Children’s Books About Mental Health
The Child Mind Institute have researched and chosen what they believe are the best books for helping children understand emotional and learning challenges
The books, from picture books to be read with pre-schoolers to chapter books for independent reading by older children, are aimed at young people up to 12 years old, to help them to name and understand feelings and experiences they may be struggling with. They address mental health and learning disorders and other common challenges, like dealing with painful experiences and coping with strong emotions..
Click here for more information
Headlight Support Sessions - Action East Devon Service
Headlight provides a friendly, non-clinical space for young people who are experiencing emotional and mental health issues, and also support for their families.
Headlight delivers peer support through:
Fortnightly facilitated sessions for young people aged between 13 to 24 years in Axminster, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth
Access to one to one support and guidance during sessions
A monthly support group in Axminster for parents and carers of young people affected by mental health issues from across the south west
Information, signposting, advice and advocacy on mental health and wellbeing related issues to young people and their families by telephone, email and face to face.
Wellbeing Exeter Family Community Connectors
Wellbeing Exeter is pleased to be launching its new family offer this week. Families who live in Exeter can now receive a different type of prescription from their GP with an introduction to a Family Community Connector. The Connector will spend time with the family, exploring what is important to them and what their goals and challenges are. They will work alongside the family, supporting them to make positive changes to improve their wellbeing and connecting them with what matters to them, including groups, services, support networks and interests. The programme is designed as a non-medical approach to help families become more active and connected in ways that work for them, overcoming challenges such as isolation and parenting struggles. The Family Connectors will be hosted by charity Exeter Community Initiatives’ (ECI) family project Devon Family Resource.
For more information click here
Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service
- English as Additional Language
- Refugees and Asylum Seekers
- Gypsy Roma Traveller
For support, answers to questions, advice and/or signposting to relevant support agencies/community home language support groups/ etc, get in touch with the EMTAS Team by sending an email or click here to access the website.
Flu Vaccination Programme 2020-21
The Devon Immunisation Team are now starting the nasal Flu vaccination programme in schools and community clinics for the 2020-21 Flu season. Children from Reception age to Year 7 are eligible (Dates of Birth: 01.09.2015 – 31.08.2009). They would like to invite parents and carers of children not presently in a school setting or those that are home tutored, to access the nasal flu vaccination via community clinics.
All the relevant information about the Flu vaccination programme can be found on the consent website by clicking on the secure link below.
If you would like your child to be seen, please complete an electronic consent form by clicking here. To book an appointment, or to access help completing the consent form, please telephone: 0300 247 0082.
YoungMinds - Supporting your Child with Gaming
Information and advice to help you and your family create a healthy culture around gaming, and to help you support your child if they're struggling.
Click here to access the helpful guide.
Worried about a child or young person? Contact the Parents Helpline for free, confidential advice via the phone, email or webchat. Their normal opening hours are 9.30am - 4pm, Monday - Friday (excluding bank holidays).
They offer three different services to parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health, up to the age of 25. Call the Parents Helpline for detailed advice, emotional support and signposting about a child or young person up to the age of 25.
Call for free on 0808 802 5544 from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday or click here to find out more
Rushbrook Youth Space
Rushbrook Youth Space is in Totnes. They welcome all young people to this centre and work hard to create a space where everyone can express who they are, without fear of being judged. The centre is a great space, with a pool table, kitchen and coffee bar and a purpose-built recording studio and band rehearsal room.
They have a variety of different sessions that cater to different age groups from Year 6 to Year 11. They also have volunteering opportunities within their young volunteer programme. They aim to create a sense of fun and enjoyment while keeping true to the educational value youth work has always brought to its communities. Click here to find out more
Morrisons has announced it is introducing quieter hours across all stores. On Sundays customers can shop with no music, checkout beeps or PA announcements for the first hour after the supermarkets open.
Action for Children are offering online parenting support for families with children
On hand to support parents, when needed. Browse the articles on the most common parenting questions from experts. Or talk one-to-one with a qualified parenting coach about anything that’s worrying you. It’s all free, and no topic is too big, small, or embarrassing.
Support includes: 1:1 chats, Emotional wellbeing, Behaviour and Learning, Nutrition and Healthy Eating and Sleep.
From where to go for help, to coping with challenging behaviours, to how to keep your children entertained at home - find advice and practical help here
Have a question about parenting? Action for Children’s online coaches are available for free, confidential 1-1 live chat. They are there to listen and support you. Click here for more information
Anxiety and Me - Art Therapy
Free online video sessions for young people aged 9-25 in Devon. Arts therapy sessions focussing on understanding and improving anxiety. Free art materials and workbook will be sent out. For more information, email email@example.com or speak to the Elective Home Education Team on 01392 287230.
The Ambassador Volunteer Project
The Ambassador Volunteer Project connects parents within their own communities and more widely into a network across Devon. Ambassador volunteers are based in communities across the county. Some are mums and dads of children with SEND and some are professionals and support staff who work with them. What they all have in common is a desire to help families and an understanding of what life is like with a child with special educational needs.
Volunteers share information from DiAS about all kinds of SEND issues and help parents to access DiAS services. This means parents get the most up to date information and support to help them make decisions and understand what’s happening for their family.They also help parents share their views about Devon services and support through the local Parent Carer Forum.This is a great way to influence policy and change the way services work for children and young people with SEND in Devon.
For more information click here.
How to Sleep Better - A Booklet
Good sleep doesn’t just mean lots of sleep: it means the right kind of sleep. Sleep affects our ability to use language, sustain attention, understand what we are reading, and summarise what we are hearing; if we compromise on our sleep, we compromise on our performance, our mood, and our interpersonal relationships.
This booklet shares information, tips and useful resources on how to get a better night’s sleep, along with a few facts: Did you know giraffes generally sleep for less than 2 hours a day?
Click here for the ‘How to sleep better’ booklet, filled with information, advice and facts about sleeping.
How to Make a Worry Box: A Guide for Parents
If your child often feels worried or anxious, and its upsetting them or making it difficult for them to do other things, creating a worry box together may help.
Click here to discover a step-by-step guide on how to explain, create and use a worry box with your young person.
Exeter Chances Programme
The Exeter Chances programme uses sport and physical activity to empower young people throughout Exeter to improve their physical, personal, and social development. It is primarily aimed at young people aged 13 - 17 who are excluded or not attending school, have offended in the last 12 months, or are not in education, employment or training. The programme involves a combination of mentoring, physical activity, hard-hitting workshops, volunteering opportunities and accredited qualifications. We work with young people who are facing challenges to change, not manage, their lives and help them to engage with physical activity, education, and their local communities. We encourage schools, organisations, and agencies in Exeter to discuss this opportunity with young people that would benefit from the programme, and to refer to us any young person who is interested. For more information, click here
Better Health Every Mind Matters
New children's mental health campaign
Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Data shows that over half of parents in the South West said that the mental wellbeing of their children has been one of their biggest worries.
After a tough year, lots of children are feeling unsettled, so Public Health England has launched a campaign to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health, and provides tools to help. It's been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities and endorsed by the NHS.
There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways we can support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy. Check out the Better Health Every Mind Matters website for tips and advice.
Free Wellbeing Board Game
Keep healthy, emotionally fit and hopefully have a few giggles along the way, with this FREE printable board game.
Click here for details
Public Transport - Stagecoach
Stagecoach is encouraging passengers who are unable to wear a face covering on the bus due to a health condition or a disability to apply for new ‘face covering journey assistance cards’ to show to drivers when they board to confirm they are exempt from the legislation.
There is also a special card available if you need the driver to lower their face covering because you are hearing impaired and need to lip read.
Once you've filled in the application form, Stagecoach will email you a card that you can save to your phone and show to the driver when you get on the bus - or you can download and print your card. If you don't have a smartphone or printer, please contact your local team and they'll arrange for a printed card to be sent to you.
Positive Approaches to Support
A new website which has been set up for families who care for children, young people or adults with a learning disability or developmental difficulty (including those who are autistic).
You will find information about positive approaches for supporting your own wellbeing and supporting choice, independence and communication for your relative. You will also find information about how to support your relative if they display behaviours that challenge. There is a mixture of reading material, videos and printable tools, with links to other resources and organisations. Everything on the website has been created by experienced family carers and professionals working together. Find out more here
A national charity, providing help and advice to families going through a difficult time.
Families can contact the Family Lives team about any aspect of family life, at all stages of a child’s development for example: parenting/relationship support, bullying, teenage risky behaviour and mental health concerns of both parents and children.
You can call the helpline on: 0808 800 2222
Find out more at the website
Hikmat Devon CIC
Hikmat Devon CIC, is a user-led co-operative that works with members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities across Devon, working to reduce isolation and improve health and well-being outcomes. This is done through activity and interest groups, 1 to 1 mentoring, training, signposting, counselling, and person centred goal planning.
Click here to find out more about Hikmat Devon.