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Guides and information for parents and carers

Parental Responsibility means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent has by law in relation to their child. This responsibility reduces as the child acquires sufficient understanding to make his or her own decisions.

The safety and welfare of children – or safeguarding – is everyone’s business. ‘Safeguarding’ means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. It also means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.

In this section you can find specific information about different risks, how they may impact children and young people and where to go for help and advice.

If you feel that you need help...

If you feel that a child, you or a friend or neighbour needs extra help, please contact the Multi-agency Referral Unit (MARU) for Cornwall on 0300 123 1116 or if you are in the Isles of Scilly, ring 01720 424483.

They will help you to understand what is the best way to respond to your concerns.


You could also get advice from the Childline website or call them on 0800 1111


Family Lives is another charity that offers a free and confidential helpline

Useful links:

  • Together for Families is the name for children's services run by Cornwall Council.  This includes children's community health, education and social care, more information is available here
  • In the tragic circumstances which surround the death of a child, information for parents can be found here: When a child dies - a guide for parents and carers
  • These parenting programmes from Cornwall Council are workshops and / or groups that support you with some of the challenges of being a parent. Parents tell us that they learn a great deal from each other and enjoy the support that a group provides. We offer a selection of free workshops, whatever the age or needs of your child.
  • Free online training for parents and parents to be, developed to support emotional health and well-being in the early years and up to adulthood  available here
  • Babies cry, you can cope.  When babies cry it can be stressful and overwhelming. Help is available from ICON for people who care for babies
  • You may find these tips to help with challenging behaviour from the Maudsley Charity useful
  • Disability information and resources are available for parents from Parent Carer Cornwall.  In particular they have just launched their Neurodiversity Hub it aligns to the Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly Neurodevelopmental Profiling Tool, but it can be used by everyone. The contributors to the content of the profiling sections are varied and include those with lived experience and professionals working with neurodivergent children and young people.

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