Live online chat

Live chat opening hours

Opening hours

Our online chat service is open on Monday between 1.30pm to 9pm, Tuesday to Friday between 10.30am to 9pm. You can contact us about any family or parenting issue. To start a chat, you can click on the 'Live chat' button at the top of your screen or the chat icon at the bottom of your screen when the service is available. 

Please note, the service is closed on weekends and bank holidays.

How we help you

When you contact us, we give you the space to share your story, helping you to explore your situation and identify the way forward. This means that we let you, 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 chat 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 values is to ensure that you will be listened to with empathy, care and respect. 

We cannot offer legal or medical advice.


All chats 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 reading what you have written and communicating 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 our workers will be able to see your email address and chat name.

To find out more about how your data is used if you contact us please see our Privacy Notice


Family Lives offers support and helps you to explore options available to you. This online chat is not advice and is not an endorsement of any course of action you may decide to take in any particular circumstance. You may not use the chat transcript for any unlawful purpose, produce it to anyone else or use it in a dispute, in a mediation, court or tribunal hearing. By using this service, you have agreed to these conditions.

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