Letter from Councillor Ian Ward
Cruse Bereavement Care
Telephone: 0121 687 8010
Free National Helpline: 0808 808 1677 (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9am-5pm; Tuesday and Thursday- 9am-8pm; Saturday and Sunday – 12-5pm)
Cruse Bereavement Care offer confidential counselling and support groups for adults and children, by telephone, email or face-to-face.
Telephone: 0121 454 1705
Edward’s Trust provides holistic family bereavement services supporting children, young people and parents across the West Midlands.
Tel: 0808 802 0111
On-line bereavement support for young people, parents & professionals
Grief Encounter offer support for bereaved children and families to address difficult issues such as death and we help make sense of the hurt and confusion. Services include: Confidential helpline, family programmes, specialist resources and e-counselling services
Information about Bullying
We’ve all been through a tough time with Covid-19 and repeated lockdowns. For many families it has just been getting harder, which is why we’re here to help. Here are some of our partners’ most used services and support, which might make life a little bit easier…
School Clothing Grant Form (revised)
Parents are requested to return completed forms and copies of their proof of benefit, if required, to the School that has stamped their form by Monday 22nd March 2021.
We would be grateful if Schools could forward the completed forms and supporting documents to Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust by Friday 26th March 2021.
Incomplete forms cannot be considered and Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust will liaise directly with applicants if their application is incomplete or unsuccessful.
As stated on the application form, we aim to process applications and deliver vouchers, for successful applicants, directly to Schools by the first week in July. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic if Schools are closed then vouchers will be sent directly to the applicant.
Please note that we require only one application per household therefore if an application includes eligible children from different schools, the vouchers will be sent to the School that has stamped the application form. Successful applicants will receive vouchers to the value of £100 per child up to a maximum of 4 children per household and these can only be redeemed at Clive Mark School wear, Boldmere.
Emergency food & fuel assistance up to £100.
Birmingham has announced an emergency food package —please contact one of our local team who will be able to help directly with a grant, often within 48 hours. There are also food banks across Birmingham that are here to help.
Resources for parents
How to build resilience and emotional health in children
(Parents of Y5 pupils)
Entry to Year 7 in September 2022
We write to advise that parents can now register their child for the optional entrance test by applying online before 4pm on 30th June 2021. The test will take place on 11th September 2021.
We would be grateful if you could advise parents of current Year 5 children via your newsletter where applicable.
To register, parents need to visit www.birminghamgrammarschools.org
How to help children deal with divorce or separation
Separation may involve bad feelings between the parents and their families. Children can pick up on this, which may make them confused or unhappy – or even blame themselves for a break-up.
To support children during a separation and help them with their worries, you should:
- remind them that they're loved by both parents
- be honest when talking about it but keep in mind the child's age and understanding
- avoid blame and don't share any negative feelings the adults have about each other
- keep up routines such as going to school and specific meal times
- let them know they can talk about their feelings with you – explain that it's okay to be sad, confused or angry
- listen more than you speak – answering questions will help them to open up.
There are lots of ways to make it a bit less painful when talking to children about divorce or any other difficult subject. We’ve got more advice for parents in our guide for talking about difficult topics.
Coronavirus (COVID-19), lockdown and separated parents
Government has said, for families where parents are separated, children under 18 can move between both homes. But it's important to do what's safe and right for everyone. 3 things to think about when deciding whether a child should visit both homes are:
- the children's health
- whether there's risk of infection
- if there are vulnerable people in either home.
Routine can help children feel safe, secure and reassured so keeping to your usual contact arrangements, as long as it's safe to, will help maintain consistency and routine. Talk to your children about any changes and explain why these have been made so they feel involved with decisions and secure that others in their lives are still involved day to day.
Who has parental responsibility?
In general, mothers automatically have parental responsibility for their child from birth.
Fathers usually have parental responsibility for the child if they were married to the child's mother and/or are listed on the child's birth certificate.
If both partners have parental responsibility, then both are responsible for the child's wellbeing until he or she reaches adulthood at age 18.
Learn more about parental rights and responsibilities on the UK Government website.
How to agree on child contact
Children tend to do best when they have contact with both parents. And they have the right to maintain contact with both, unless it's not in their best interest.
There are 3 ways for deciding who a child lives with and how visits will work.
How courts decide on child contact
Every child and set of circumstances is different. But in every situation, the child's welfare must be put first. When deciding on contact and residence, the courts focus on a number of key factors, such as:
- the wishes and feelings of the child
- any harm or risk of harm
- the child's physical, emotional and educational needs
- the likely effect of any change in the child's circumstances
- the child's age, sex, background and characteristics
- the ability of each parent to meet the child's needs.
Other organisations you can talk to
We can't provide legal advice but the Coram Children's Legal Centre offers free information and advice on all aspects of the law relating to young people. Coram's helpful Contact factsheet (PDF) addresses common questions about contact arrangements.
You can also get help from the following organisations.
- Families Need Fathers champions the child's relationship with both parents during and after family separation.
- Gingerbread provides support for single parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with factsheets offering practical advice on issues such as money, separation, housing and work. One Parent Families provides this service in Scotland.
- Relate provides family counselling and advice on understanding children's feelings and behaviours during separation.
- Family Lives (England and Wales), Children 1st Scotland and Parenting Northern Ireland all provide professional, non-judgemental advice to all family members to help achieve the best for everyone.
- Family Law Advice Centre gives advice to families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and offers support with associated financial or child arrangement issues.
- The Scottish Child Law Centre gives legal advice for and about children and are working in partnership with Parentline Scotland.
- Citizens Advice can give advice to parents if their relationship breaks down and can give information on child maintenance services.