Services for Young Children

Parents separating/ divorcing – care of children

My partner and I are separating/getting divorced and I am worried about my child/children.

Depending on your circumstances it may be a good starting point to contact CAFCASS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. The CAFCASS website holds useful information for both parents, children and young people: www.cafcass.gov.uk.

Their Hampshire based office is:

Priestley House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG24 9NW

Tel. 0844 3531620

Alternatively you may want to talk the situation through with some one independent such as Relate counselling service.

Their website is www.relate.org.uk/family-counselling/index.html and they have a separate website for parents and families www.relateforparents.org.uk/.

What is the Child Maintenance Options service?

Child Maintenance Options is a service provided by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. The Commission is the Non-Departmental Public Body that's responsible for child maintenance in Great Britain. Child Maintenance Options provides impartial information and support to help both parents make informed choices about child maintenance.

They are here to help you:

  • if you're separating from the other parent or are not living with them and you need to set up a child maintenance arrangement

  • if you're thinking of switching from an arrangement using the Child Support Agency (CSA) to a family-based arrangement, or the other way round

  • if your child maintenance arrangement has broken down or is not working as you'd like it to.

They can also offer practical information in areas linked to child maintenance, such as housing, employment and money, and put you in touch with specialist organisations that can provide help and advice.

Further details visit Child Maintenance Options or telephone 0800 988 0988.

What is the Child Support Agency?

The Child Support Agency (CSA) is the statutory child maintenance service and is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  

Its role is to make sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upkeep by paying child maintenance.  

For further details visit the Child Support Agency website: www.csa.gov.uk/ or Direct Gov.