Confidential helpline

Call our free and confidential helpline for support

Family Lives offers a confidential and free* helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). Please call us on 0808 800 2222 for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. Our helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. For callers from Scotland, Children 1st run Parentline Scotland and you may wish to contact them on 08000 28 22 33 Monday to Friday from 9am - 9pm. To find out more about how we will use your data if you contact us, please see our privacy notice.

Can you help us improve our services?

Have you recently tried to call our helpline but weren’t able to get through? At times our helpline is very busy, but we’re keen to hear about your experience of calling. We are currently undertaking some anonymous research which will help us understand how we can improve our services, including the helpline. We would really like you to share your experiences with us.

If you are happy to be involved in our research, please click here to fill out the form. If you are selected for an interview, our research team will contact you to arrange an interview within one week. The interview will last approximately 30 minutes and we are only looking for participants ages 18 and over. 

Email support

Our lines do get very busy, if you are unable to get through, you may want to email us for support, advice and information. Please email us at We aim to respond within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.

Have you seen our online forums? This is a safe space where you can share experiences and support other families who may be going through a difficult time. Please click here to visit our online forum community. 

How we help

We listen and give you the space to talk, helping you to explore your situation and identify the way forward.  Listening means that we let you, the caller, direct the conversation to wherever you want to go.  We will take what you say seriously, and not minimise it. We may ask you some questions to help us fully understand your situation and explore your feelings, and help you talk through options or consider specific Organisations, which may be able to help you. We do our best to provide you with as much helpful information and support and encouragement as we can, and then we hope that that puts you, as the expert on your own life, in a good position to make whatever choices are best for you. Core to our Organisations values is to ensure that you will be listened to with empathy, care and respect. We cannot offer legal or medical advice.


All calls are confidential.  We will only break confidentiality if there is a life- threatening situation, or a child or adult is felt to be at risk of significant harm. 

What happens if you tell us that you or someone else has been hurt or is at risk?

If we are worried about your own safety, or being hurt, either by your own actions or by someone else, we want to help you find the best way to keep yourself safe.    We do this by listening and talking with you about what you want to do.  Most of the time whatever you tell us will stay between you and Family Lives. 

However if we feel that you are unable to make decisions for yourself, sometimes we might need to tell someone else what you’ve told us to be able to help you. This will apply to all young people under 13 and under some circumstances to older children and adults.

It is important to know that you can decide what information you choose to share with us.  Sharing information will not automatically mean we will tell someone else but on some occasions it may mean us contacting the Police, Ambulance Service or Social Services.

We do not record any personal details, although phone numbers may appear in our system.  We do not attribute them to any individual person.  Phone numbers would only be used in cases of safeguarding.

We currently answer 52% of all callers ringing.  If you don’t get an answer first time please do try again.

* Free from landlines and most mobiles


free family support helpline parentline

Giving just £1 a month could help keep our helpline open

Our helpline funding for next year remains uncertain. We have run a free helpline to provide advice and support to families across the country for decades. Our public funding has been cut by over 50% during the last year. We need to raise more than half a million pounds to maintain this free service and increase our ability to answer calls quickly. 

For many families it is a vital lifeline to support whenever they need it. Can you help to keep our essential family support helpline going by donating just £1 a month?

How to set up a monthly donation

Setting up a monthly donation is very simple, just visit our page on Wonderful and enter your details.

If you or someone you know has used our services, why not donate now to help us support more families across the UK. One call to our helpline costs us just £10.24 to provide, so with a regular donation, you can help ensure we can keep supporting the families who need us. Thank you for your support. 

Contact us via Skype

Skype is a fast, free and efficient way of us delivering support for anyone needing our help. It allows callers an opportunity to access our services in a way that is more convenient. To use this service you will need to have a Skype account. To set up one up, please visit Once you have your Skype account and are signed in, please open the Skype Dialler and call 0808 800 2222 and press the green call button. You will then be connected to our helpline confidentially and free of charge. 

Helplines Partnership 

We are proud to be a member of the Helplines Partnership which is a membership body for organisations that provide helpline services in the UK and internationally.

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers through our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. Family Lives is here for you. You can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

We listen, support and never judge.