CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory Service)

CAFCASS represents children in family court cases, making sure their voices are heard, and that the decisions that are made about them are in their best interests.  CAFCASS are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities, and all similar agencies.  For more information, visit their website here.

Also, CAFCASS are currently piloting their Supporting Separating Parents in Dispute service.

The helpline is staffed by social work professionals who can:

  • provide advice and support on a range of alternatives to court, such as parenting programmes, parenting plans, and mediation
  • signpost to locally delivered services with the right expertise to help families sort out issues and avoid expensive and stressful court proceedings
  • help parents by booking appointments for them and following up to check whether the out of court route has helped the family
  • encourage parents to work together to achieve the best outcomes for their children.

The helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and they can be contacted on 0800 380 0040.

Families First

Whether you are together or apart, arguments in a relationship are normal - what matters is how you deal with them.  Help and support is at hand if you need it; for information and advice around couple conflict, visit Hertfordshire County Council's relationship support webpage at

Harmony Mediation

Family Mediation helps couples who are separating or divorcing work out arrangements for the future; it isn't marriage guidance or counselling, but a way of helping couples sort out some of the practical details of a divorce or separation.  Family mediation can also help grandparents worried about grandchild contact.

Harmony Mediation offer a 'Gateway Phone Call' - a FREE 15 minute phone call with a qualified Family Mediator to explain how family mediation works, look at whether mediation might help you and to check legal aid eligibility. Book your call by ringing 01727 812 464.

For more information, visit their website at or phone them on 0845 500 6255.

Parent Connection

Created by One Plus One to help parents who are either going through separation or who are struggling with issues associated with parenting after parting.  Everything on the site aims to help parents gain a deeper understanding of how children are affected by separation and tackle some of the difficult issues.


Family counselling, sex therapy and relationship counselling.
01727 858 126

Sorting Out Separation

A FREE online resource for parents and couples dealing with divorce or separation.  The website will:

  • show you where to find reliable information, easy-to-use tools and specialist services on a range of topics
  • help you focus on and deal with the most important issues
  • create a personalised list of support services and tools for your circumstances

Click here to visit their website.

Splitting Up?  Put Kids First

Splitting Up? Put Kids First is a safe space online where separated parents can work out how they will support and care for their child(ren).  It is made up of two main parts:

  • The Parenting Plan

A FREE online service that helps parents think about arrangements, share ideas and record decisions.  Separated parents can work on their plans using a template or by create their own from scratch.  The service compares versions and highlights where they don’t match up.  Parents can then make changes and click to agree or disagree. 

  • Communicating Better

Agreeing on the content of a plan and putting it into action in daily life can sometimes be tricky.  'Splitting Up? Put Kids First' also provides short videos and suggestions to help parents think about the most successful way to communicate, negotiate and solve problems.  These are divided into three steps: Get Ready, Talk it out and Sort it out.

The online service has been created by OnePlusOne. OnePlusOne is a UK charity that creates resources to help parents and families.

See how Splitting Up? Put Kids First' can help you.  Click on the statement below that sounds most like your situation: