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Children and families
We provide support and advice services for children and young people, and their families and carers, including adoption and fostering services and support groups.
If you’re worried about a child or young person
If you’re worried about a child or young person living in Hackney, you can contact the First Access and Screening Team (FAST) for advice and guidance.
Some children in Hackney can’t stay with their birth families and therefore require another permanent option, adoption being one of these. If you think you would like to adopt and have the time, patience and space in your home, and in your heart for a child, then we would like to hear from you.
Fostering can really change lives for the better. It can bring security and confidence, teach new skills and uncover potential. And that’s just the carers. Why not use your potential to help a child realise theirs?
Caring for children can be a difficult task at the best of times. We’re committed to providing the best possible care for children and young people wherever possible.
- childcare, family support and children’s centres
- child employment and performance licences
- respite care for children – short-term substitute care provided by someone other than the parents or usual carers for a child
Free early years education for some two year olds
If you earn less than £16,190, or you’re on benefits, you may be able to get 15 hours free childcare for your two-year old.
Hospice care for children provide respite and terminal care for children suffering from life-limiting conditions in a home-from-home environment. Care is provided for the child and their family at no cost to them for as long as is necessary, including post bereavement support. In Hackney, hospice care for children, including referrals, is organised through health services often using Richard House Hospice.
Looked after children
We look after approximately 250 children and young people at any one time. About 7 out of 10 children go home within 6 months. Children are mainly looked after if there are serious concerns for their welfare and cannot live with their birth families.
Children social care complaints
If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received, with a member of staff, or with some other aspect of our work, please let us know.
Leaving care local offer
Advice and support available for young people leaving care in Hackney.
City and Hackney safeguarding children board (CHSCB)
The CHSCB is the key statutory body for agreeing how organisations co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in City and Hackney, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.
Children with SEN, disabilities or additional needs
Visit Hackney Local Offer for services available to children and young people aged 0-25 with SEN, disabilities or additional needs.
Supported lodgings offer young people (aged 16-21) an alternative to fostering when they are unable to remain with their birth families.
Living in support lodgings will be an important step towards independent living for the young people. The host will be a crucial person in the young person’s life being close enough to offer support, but encourage the young person to do as much as possible on their own.
Support for families
Our family support units offer targeted support to families with children to help them address a range of issues.
Resource guide for professionals
The Children and young people’s resource guide has been developed to assist professionals working within Hackney to navigate the diverse range of services for children and families with support needs.
The Council is committed to the principle that the most effective way of improving outcomes and life chances for all children, young people and families is through the provision of high quality, accessible universal services. While there are times when specialist expertise is required, most needs for the majority of children can be met in universal settings such as children’s centres, schools and GP surgeries.
The guide provides information as to how health, early years, education, children’s social care, Young Hackney and adult services are working together to promote coordinated service delivery for children and families living in the borough. Our primary aim is that there should be no wrong door for referrers seeking additional support for children.
Hackney child wellbeing framework
The wellbeing framework outlines concerns that professionals may have regarding a child or young person and what level of service(s) would be appropriate and best meet their needs.
Think family process and action record
Hackney is committed to a whole family approach, in which all services working with a child or other family members work effectively in partnership to identify potential short and long term risks and vulnerabilities and ensure a coordinated and integrated approach. Our whole family approach focuses on prevention and early intervention to secure the best long term outcomes for children, young people and adult family members.
This process and action record has been developed to support all those who have front-line contact with service users. It is designed to improve identification, signposting and referrals of families and individuals who need additional support. It will help you to be aware of the needs and vulnerabilities of other family members and to feel confident taking decisions about how to act.
Advice for young people
Young Hackney helps young people aged 6-19 enjoy their youth and become independent and successful adults with activities across the borough, and advice and support on subjects like education, employment, housing and health.
Hackney Children and Families Service
- 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday - except bank holidays