Family Friends provides support to families in central west London who are facing economic hardship as well as other challenges including: inadequate housing, physical disability, mental health issues, isolation and children with behavioural problems who may be struggling at school.
We currently support families across Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Brent. To be elegible, referred families must live one of these boroughs and must be on a low-income or receiving benefits.
Our mission is to ‘help families to help themselves’, with the aims being to:
- strengthen the family unit through building confidence in parenting and parent/child relationships
- promote emotional and physical health in families
- improve the home environment
- improve access to health and community services
- reduce isolation
- introduce greater stability into children’s lives
- give academic support to children
- build aspirations and plan for economic improvements
At final assessments over 95% of families report improvements as a result of the service, with 100% rating the service ‘Good’ to ‘Great’.
Our services address the Every Child Matters outcomes. They are voluntary and initiated only with the direct consent of the family. Each package of support is tailored to meet the difficulties families face.
Family Friends’ volunteers are carefully screened (with references and enhanced DBS checks), trained and given weekly supervision by staff to provide a high-quality befriending service. At Family Friends we follow all appropriate child protection guidelines and practices.
"They have a different role – are not social services – people can grow to trust them, they are reliable, it's just invaluable."
Guidelines for referrers
Please note that to be elegible to receive our services, referred families must live in a borough we support (Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Brent) and be on a low-income or receiving benefits.
Staff aim to conduct an initial assessment of the family within two weeks of the referral being made. Family Friends aims to match the family to a volunteer within 2-6 weeks of the initial assessment, depending on the family’s needs and availability.