Parent Support Groups


Parent support groups can bring together the parents of young people engaged in criminal activities, or at risk of becoming victims of various forms of exploitation, to support them to better understand and respond to the risks faced by their children


Local authorities’ Early Help Units (or equivalents) can set up parent support groups. Peer groups, dynamics within the group, places where young people in the group congregate and work already undertaken with their families can be identified through peer group mapping meetings. Parents can then be informed of risks their children face and can be supported to safeguard their children. One local authority, for example, set up a parent support group in which an Early Help Unit and police staff shared their knowledge of the peer group’s activities (anti-social behaviour and missing episodes) supported by photographic evidence and helped parents recognise the early signs of exploitation and substance misuse. Support groups can enable parents to share their views and concerns within a non-judgemental setting. Parents in this support group set up a WhatsApp group to keep informed of their children’s whereabouts and told their children they were working together to keep them safe. The parents have also created a plan with the Early Help worker for on-going support and future meetings.

Who is it for?

Child protection practitioners

Find out more

A case study will soon be available on the Contextual Safeguarding network