Advice for parents and carers


This page has advice and information on:

If you are concerned that a child is being abused or neglected go to the Are you are worried about a child? page

The NSPCC offers helpful information for parents and carers on a range of issues, such as internet safety, protecting children at home and positive parenting tips. To view go to the NSPCC website.

Disciplining your child

A leaflet has been produced for Bexley which gives advice for parents on safe and effective ways to discipline children.

You can download this here: Disciplining Your Child 2016

A new companion leaflet on parenting has now been produced which sets out 10 Tips to understand the needs of your children.

This accompanying leaflet can be downloaded here: 10 Tips to understand the needs of your children (July 2017)

Bexley Parentcare

Bexley Parentcare is a new joint initiative between the NHS in Bexley, Bexley council, and local community and voluntary groups that work specifically with parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years. It has been created in response to suggestions from parents and carers, who said Bexley needs a single hub where parents and carers can find out about local services and resources that support Bexley’s parents and carers. Further information is available in the Bexley Parentcare leaflet

Unexplained injuries

Following on from the Baby G Learning Review in 2019, a leaflet on unexplained injuries has been developed for families where there are unexplained injuries and bruising in babies and children who are not moving independently. The leaflet has been circulated to relevant staff in local hospitals, GP surgeries and medical centres to share with parents to help them understand what to expect in situations of unexplained injuries, the responsibilities of health and other professionals in safeguarding children and the aim of working together with families. The leaflet (developed collaboratively with a parent advisor) has been designed to answer common questions parents may have and is written with a restorative lens, acknowledging the anxiety parents may be experiencing in these situations.


The definition of bullying used in Bexley is:

Behaviour by an individual or group usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically, emotionally or mentally.

  • A power imbalance in favour of the aggressor
  • A victim who cannot match that power
  • It is repeated often over a period of time

Young people in Bexley also describe bullying as:

  • Unjustified/unprovoked actions taken against someone
  • Making someone so uncomfortable it becomes unbearable by even just the presence of another
  • Intimidation including anti-social behaviour by a group

See the Bexley council website Bullying webpage

Staying Safe online - e-safety

e-safety is a term which means not only the internet but other ways in which young people communicate using electronic media, e.g. mobile phones. It means ensuring that children and young people are protected from harm and supported to achieve the maximum benefit from new and developing technologies without risk to themselves or others.

The aim of promoting e-safety is to protect young people from the adverse consequences of access or use of electronic media, including from bullying, inappropriate sexualised behaviour or exploitation.

For more information see the Bexley Council e-safety webpage

The BBC have a useful webpage: How do I keep my kids safe online?

For information aimed at young people see the BSCB Staying safe online page

There a lot of good advice on the NSPCC Online safety page

This article has a lot of useful advice for parents: How do I keep my children safe online? What the security experts tell their kids

Self Harm

Advice is available at the websites below:

The BSCB also has a website for practitioners which may be helpful:

BSCB Self Harm webpage

There is advice for young people here:

BSCB Self Harm advice for young people

Radicalisation and Extremism

This is an area of increasing concern, and is treated as a safeguarding issue by the BSCB. You can download advice here: Radicalisation - Advice To Parents And Carers Adapted by kind permission of Tower Hamlets LSCB -see: THLSCB radicalisation and extremism webpage.

Children's Social Care and Child Protection

Bexley social services help children and families who are experiencing difficulties. The service given depends on the need, and can range from simple advice and helping with playgroup fees to arranging for a child to live with foster carers.

A leaflet is available with advice for parents and carers if they are involved in a Child Protection conference:

Child Protection conference - a guide for parents and carers

A leaflet is available with advice for parents and family members if they are involved in a Core Group meeting.

Core Groups and Core Group meetings - a guide for children and their families (updated October 2019)

For more information go to the Children, Young People and Families page

Domestic Violence and abuse - the effect on children and young people

Domestic violence and abuse is a serious child protection issue. In 90% of cases, children were in the same or the next room, and in 50% of cases, children were directly abused. Witnessing domestic violence can have significant short and long term effects on children’s development, resulting for example in eating and sleeping disorders, and emotional and behavioural problems.

Have you been affected by domestic violence or abuse?

If you have been affected by domestic violence go to the Bexley Domestic Violence page

Links for more information:

Bexley Women's Aid

Women's Aid have also created a website called The Hideout to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse.

Other useful links:

Barnardo's domestic violence webpages
London Safeguarding Children Board - Domestic Violence webpage
Home Office Domestic violence and abuse pages

Drug and alcohol misuse

This can have a very serious effect on the welfare of children and young people in the family. See the Bexley council Drug and alcohol services for Bexley page

Private Fostering

If you are you looking after someone else’s child and it is for more than 28 days, you must notify Children's Social Care.

Private fostering is an arrangement that is made privately - that is to say not involving the local authority. A private foster carer is someone other than a parent or close relative who will care for a child for a period of 28 days or more in agreement with the child’s parent. Private fostering only applies to a child or young person under the age of 16, or under 18, if disabled. Private foster carers may be from extended family – such as a cousin, great aunt, a friend or someone unknown to the child who is willing to privately foster.

The law requires that the local authority is notified of any existing or proposed private fostering arrangements. It is an offence not to do so, without reasonable cause. If you are a private foster carer or a parent and you are proposing to make a private foster arrangement you must tell us at least six weeks before the arrangement starts. If it is an emergency arrangement you must tell us immediately. If a child is already living in a private fostering arrangement you must notify us immediately.

If you wish to advise the London Borough of Bexley about a private fostering arrangement in advance or notify the local authority of an existing arrangement then you can contact the Children's Social Care Teams on 020 8303 7777. If you believe that a child is being privately fostered then you can discuss this with a worker to clarify the situation.

For more information for the public, parents and private foster carers, go to the Private fostering webpage.

Child Employment

For information on the law regarding age restrictions, hours that children can work and the jobs they can and can't do, go to Bexley Council's Child employment page.

Road Safety and Safety in the Home

Bexley Council with its partners has an extensive programme of education, training, publicity, engineering and enforcement which aims to reduce road accidents. For more information see theMerton Road Safety webpage

For information on child safety see the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) webpages