West Berkshire Council

Family Resource Service - Helping Children and Families in Need

Services in West Berkshire available for children and families in need

If you feel you or your family need help, your first step is to

After you've done this, you may be referred to the Family Resource Service.

What we do

We help families who are struggling with difficulties that affect family life and the safety and welfare of children in the family.

We will listen to you, build on your strengths and help you work towards making changes that will make a long term difference to your life. Our skilled workers will support you through these difficult times with encouragement, practical help and well-tested techniques.

Why have I been referred for help?

If you have been referred to our service it may be to provide help with:

  • reducing conflict in the family
  • improving relationships
  • parenting support
  • stopping domestic abuse
  • getting the most out of education
  • preventing offending and anti-social behaviour
  • helping children to remain within safer family networks

What help will I be offered?

You may be offered one, or a combination, of the following:

  • individual work: one to one support with a dedicated worker
  • family work: we work with the whole family to help you find solutions that work for you and that help you rebuild your lives together
  • group work: meeting up with other families for mutual help and support
  • family activity programmes: opportunities for families to get out and about and have fun together during the school holidays
  • referrals to other services who may be able to help, including family group conferences - a process where the extended family is supported to arrange a family meeting to discuss problems and to make plans that will keep children safe

The teams that make up the Family Resource Service are:

Rapid Help for Domestic Abuse (Domestic Abuse Response Team)

The Domestic Abuse Response team (DART) provides help for families who are being affected by domestic abuse/family conflict. If the police have been called out to an incident a referral will be made to DART and a member of the team will contact the family and offer practical advice, emotional support and signposting to other support agencies. Where appropriate, families may be offered ongoing parenting support. Some families benefit from taking part in our pdf icon Family Focus Programme [1Mb], run by a highly trained and professional team who work alongside family members to help them understand and resolve conflict and to become a stronger and safer family unit.

Family Support

Families often need short term support at some point in their lives to help get through a difficult time. Our Family Support Team work closely with families to develop clear action plans that will address some of the problems affecting their lives, including: parenting support, relationship building, improving school attendance, reducing domestic abuse and family conflict. We also work with children and young people to help them make better choices, reduce anti-social and offending behaviour and other areas that will help build their self esteem and sense of wellbeing. We talk with everyone in the family and work closely with other agencies to provide more specific support for individuals.


Summer Activity Programme

Supporting families to enjoy activities together is important in helping them to bond and form better relationships. We offer activities and days out, particularly during the long school holidays, which are funded through national and local charities. Families in need can be referred to our Summer Activity Programme by their social worker, school, health visitor or children centre.

Further Help to Turn Lives Around

Families with long-term problems who need help with (for example) getting children back to school, reducing anti-social behaviour and getting adults back to work can also be referred to the Turnaround Families Programme.