Family Information Service website updates: COVID-19
We have created this page on the Kensington & Chelsea Family Information Service to share resources and information that may be useful to families and those working with children and young people. We are committed to supporting you as a parent during this period and will maintain regular contact with you and your family in a variety of different ways – by phone, video call and in your home where necessary.
We will add any relevant updates from specific services as they become available.
If your service would like to update this website with additional information or resources, please contact FIS@westminster.gov.uk.
For general information from the Council regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit Kensington and Chelsea’s coronavirus advice and information pages. For support for families with children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities, please visit the Local Offer COVID-19 webpage.
To limit the spread of coronavirus, government advice is that if children can stay safely at home, they should do so. The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response. If your child is unwell for a non-related coronavirus issue, remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done.
For the latest advice on Coronavirus and how parents and carers can support their children during this period, please visit:
- NHS coronavirus webpage
- GOV.UK coronavirus webpage
- GOV.UK guidance on closure of educational settings for parents/carers and for schools
- GOV.UK guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people
- GOV.UK coronavirus FAQs: What you can and can’t do
- Why it’s important to still access health services and attend your child’s immunisation appointments
- Easy-read advice about coronavirus
- Unicef: How to talk to your children about coronavirus
- Coronavirus fact sheet and video for kids
- GOV.UK guidance for young people on staying at home and away from others
The Department of Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline on 0800 046 8687.
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
The helpline is currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience.
One-to-one family support (Early Help)
Our Early Help services are continuing to provide support for families during this period, in a different way. If you are already receiving one-to-one support from our Early Help team, your practitioner will contact you weekly or fortnightly via telephone or video call. There will be no face-to-face support or home visits during this period.
If you would like one-to-one family support (including referrals for extra support) you can call our contact our Early Help team on:
Phone: 020 7598 4608 or 020 7361 4129
Please visit the Family Lives website for advice on how to cope practically and emotionally as a family during this period.
Please view Homestart's flyer with details of support for families.
For support for families in different languages, please visit or contact:
Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women Centre (in Arabic and Moroccan): 07770511808
Midaye Somali Development Network (in Somali, Amharic and Arabic): 07593440944
Midaye Somali Development Network have a new programme for the Somali speaking community Ramadan community workshop leaflet (Somali speakers)
Some of our residents will start observing Ramadan on Thursday 23 or Friday 24 April, but the current pandemic may have an impact on who should be fasting and how Iftar or prayers take place. Following a review by the British Islamic Medical Association, please find the Council’s guidance on Ramadan during these challenging times.
Relationships aren’t built on the expectation that you’ll be spending all day, every day with that person. Please find advice about how to give yourself a break and develop a new ‘normal’ during these circumstances to help make your relationship a bit smoother.
You can watch the experiences of children and young people who have parents that don’t get along in this five minute video. The stories explain the impact of different types of parental conflict, from parents arguing, to a lack of warmth to fraught contact arrangements. Note that this video was developed before the coronavirus outbreak.
The Building Relationships for Stronger Families Programme is continuing to offer support to parents who are struggling with their relationship with their partner or ex-partner by Zoom sessions.
See It Differently have 4 short videos that demonstrate how small changes can make life easier for everyone in the family, reducing the impact of arguments on children. They also offer a secure web chat session with one of their listeners.
If you are regularly attending parenting groups, the Early Help team will contact you via the phone for parenting advice and strategies, particularly whilst self-isolating.
Families who receive parenting support can continue to access advise by contacting:
020 7598 4608 or 020 7361 4129, or email@example.com
Tavistock Relationships are providing an online six-week course for separated parents or parents going through separation. To book a place, please call 020 7380 1975 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parenting support leaflet for Under 5s Information to help babies, young children, parents and carers during the COVID-19 Crisis.
The Council website has information on the support and advice available for young carers.
Family Action is currently pausing the allocation of personal budgets for young carers until home visiting can be resumed safely, in line with government guidance. Regular contact and support will be maintained with families that already work with Family Action, including providing online resources such as activities for children and mental health support. For more information, please contact YCpersonalbudget@family-action.org.uk.
Self-isolating can bring new unsettling challenges for you and your family. If you are worried about your safety or the safety of your child, please contact the following teams:
Please call the Social Services helpline on 020 7361 3013 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm) or email email@example.com.
The out of hours Emergency Duty Team is also available from 5pm – 9am and during weekends on 020 7373 2227. In an emergency, please call 999.
A new campaign in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster is asking everyone to pay attention to the children and families around them during the Coronavirus lockdown to help to protect vulnerable children. Due to the Coronavirus lockdown, children will be seeing fewer adults who they may normally trust to open up to about abuse or feeling unsafe at home. If you’re concerned a child is being harmed or abused, contact Children’s Services.
If you are affected by domestic abuse, support is still available to you through a number of different ways during this period:
- The Angelou Partnership (translators available): 0808 801 0660 or 020 8741 7008
- Women’s Aid via instant messaging service or email support
- Save Lives advice and resources to support you during the Coronavirus outbreak (the site can be closed quickly using the big pink button and is automatically deleted from your history)
- A #silentsolution if you need to speak to the police but cannot speak out loud
- Hestia’s Bright Sky App, a free app which displays as a weather app
- The National Domestic Abuse Helpline available 24 hrs a day: 0808 2000 247
If you have financial concerns, support is available to provide you with information or speak specifically about your situation.
Please visit the Kensington and Chelsea webpage on how the council and government can support you financially. You can also contact the Local Support Payments helpline on 020 7745 6464 or visit the Money Matters webpage for government support schemes for families.
The Venture Community Association provide information on their Community Emergency Response Vouchers. The aim is to help to reduce the financial anxiety of having to choose between lighting and heating during the pandemic for some of their most vulnerable individuals and families living in North Kensington.
Please do not visit Kensington Town Hall for housing enquiries, even if your housing situation is urgent. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for general housing enquiries and call 020 7361 3008 if you believe you are about to me made homeless or if you are in temporary accommodation and need an urgent repair.
You can access advice on common housing issues on Shelter’s website or via their online chat service.
You can contact the Early Help team for a foodbank voucher or get in touch with one of our local food banks or kitchens.
During this time, it’s important that you take care of your family’s mental health – there are lots of things you can do, and support is available if you need it. Please follow this link for a leaflet that sets out further available support for children and young people ‘Knowing your mental health’.
Support can be accessed online, by phone and by text. Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) are adapting their approaches, so as to be able to continue to provide support remotely. You can contact their team on 020 3317 3599 or email@example.com.
For more information and guidance on supporting your family’s mental health, see:
- GOV.UK coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
- Keeping your child well during self-isolation – Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service
- Families under pressure
- Rise Above: Tips on gaining confidence and feeling good in lockdown for young people aged 10-16
If you as a parent are feeling anxious or low in mood, support is available by telephone or video call. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Health Visiting service will get back to you as soon as possible.
You can also access a talking therapy service to support with your own mental health and wellbeing. Please follow this link for a leaflet outlining the support available in Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster and how to contact the talking therapy service, provided by Community Living Well and the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service.
Free online counselling support for children and adults
Kooth is a web-based confidential support service. It provides young people and young adults aged 11-25 years old with a safe and secure means of accessing support with their emotional health and wellbeing needs from a professional team of qualified counsellors.
Relate provides relationship support; including guidance and counselling services for individuals, couples and families through private online chat rooms and phone calls. When individuals are going through a tough time, Relate can offer support to manage issues and strengthen relationships.
Childline is a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, trained Childline counsellors are there for you online and on the phone.
Latimer Community Art Therapy is offering virtual art therapy to support children, young people and adults’ mental health during the pandemic, including bereavement support. Please contact email@example.com to access the service.
Hospitals are making changes to help respond to coronavirus and this will impact the way you receive your maternity care. Please see the Mum & Baby app for more information about local pregnancy and maternity services. You can also find important information for pregnant women and their families on the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists’ website and a Q&A for parents about coronavirus from the Imperial NHS Trust.
If you are pregnant, you can join these online antenatal classes:
If you are booked at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital or St Mary’s Hospital
Please visit the Imperial NHS Trust website for information about upcoming appointments with your midwife and maternity advice during the coronavirus pandemic. You can contact the maternity helpline on 020 3312 6135 during weekdays at 10am – 5:30pm.
If you are booked at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
Please visit the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital website for information about upcoming appointments with your midwife and maternity advice during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have an urgent pregnancy-related issue, please call the maternity helpline on 020 3314 6000 (option 1) or the West Middlesex University Hospital on 020 8231 5946. If you have faced unexpected birth experiences or challenges, you can access peer support from other parents in weekly 40 minute virtual sessions.
Health Visitors are currently operating a reduced service to manage staffing capacity and to limit the spread of infection.
You will be contacted by your Health Visitor by phone or video call when your baby is 10-14 days old and 6-8 weeks to help you, your family and your new baby stay healthy. If you haven’t heard from your Health Visitor yet, please follow this link to find contact details for your local team. For families with additional needs, you will receive support from your Health Visitor by phone/video call or by a visit to the home if appropriate.
Telephone support is still on offer and contact details for your local team can be found here. The Health Visiting service is offering a 7 day a week duty line for parents to call for support and advice. You can contact the duty line using the below number or email address:
Phone: 020 8200 2500, press option 2
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 9am – 5pm (including bank holidays).
Support with feeding
Support with breastfeeding is still available by video call with an infant feeding Health Visitor. Email Cathy.Cannon@nhs.net and she will get back to as soon as possible.
You can find information and guidance on infant feeding during COVID-19 on the Unicef website.
In line with NHS England guidance, you should still attend routine childhood immunisation appointments during this period. If your child is due their vaccine, please book the required appointments but do not attend if your family is in self-isolation at the time of the appointment or has symptoms. You can call your local GP practice or health clinic to confirm that your child’s immunisation appointment is still going ahead or for reassurance.
Mental health and well being
If you as a parent are feeling anxious or low in mood, support is available by telephone or video call. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Health Visiting service will get back to you as soon as possible.
All Stay and Plays are closed in line with government guidance. Family hubs and children’s centres are still available to contact by telephone and are getting directly in contact with any regular families to offer advice and support in the coming months.
You can find resources for supporting children under 5 at home here. Community Champions are offering weekly virtual play, yoga and music sessions for families with young children: you can sign up using this calendar of events via Zoom or by emailing the listed contact.
For a summary of what support is available see our leaflet.
For guidance and advice from our Children’s Centre staff, please call 020 7938 8400 or email: email@example.com with your contact details to request a call.
One-to-one support for families is also available by calling Early Help on 020 7598 4601 (north) or 020 7361 4129 (south) or by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the above, you can access a list of resources for parents and carers of children under the age of 5 through this link.
Offer from Paddington Development Trust It’s business as usual as clients can still register online, to join the new online training. Usual eligibility requirements of right to work and proof of address are required. Existing clients take the survey so the trust can get an idea of session numbers. New recruits see the E-Training flyer. Once clients are registered you will be provided with all the usual opportunities plus additional expenses such as data top up to help them get by etc. Call Neisha Diaz on 020 7266 8253 or 07856181941 details. PDT Employment have created some YouTube Playlists of things to keep you entertained, job ready and productive during this time in self-isolation.
Westway Learning has gone online!
Join us if you want to meet new people, feel connected and develop your English, employability and digital skills. Current and futures courses include ESOL (levels beginner to L1); Introduction to Teaching Assistant Course; Basic Digital Skills.
We are using a variety of fun and easy-to-use ways of reaching learners, including: WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Classroom and YouTube.
For more information, contact Learning and Outreach Officer Wafaa Samadi –Wafaa.Samadi@westway.org, 07917 575002 - or Adult and Community Learning Manager Sakinah Touzani – Sakinah.Touzani@Westway.org, 07917 847988
In light of the Government’s latest guidance, we have put together a comprehensive list of available childcare provision for your child. Please access this list through the link below:
- Bi-borough available Childcare Providers (as of 1st June)
- GOV.UK guidance on closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
- Bi-borough home learning tips
- A parent’s guide to support their child’s early learning and development at home
Eligibility for 30 hours and Tax Free Childcare
The government has announced that any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Subject to Parliamentary approval, parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This temporary flexibility will ensure critical workers can continue to access the childcare they need to enable them to work. These arrangements will be reviewed over the summer. This announcement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eligibility-for-government-childcare-offers-protected
Please feel free to contact us should you have any further questions regarding your child’s placement.
Since 23 March, nurseries, schools and colleges have remained open only to the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. The government confirmed on 28 May that schools will reopen for more children.
All primary and nursery schools in Kensington and Chelsea have plans in place to widen their offer from 1 June to nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils, in line with government guidance. In order to open safely and in line with their risk assessments, most schools will phase the return of year groups in the first two weeks of June. A number of schools are using 1 June as a staff training day.
Secondary schools are following government guidance, which is that they should offer face to face tuition to supplement online learning to year 10 and year 12 students from 15 June. In the meantime, they continue to have an offer for their vulnerable and keyworker children.
Special schools and alternative provision will be open from 1 June in line with government guidance.
Parents will have been notified by individual schools about arrangements for their children and should contact their child’s school if this is not clear and check the school website for information. For further queries, they can contact email@example.com
The Local Offer COVID-19 webpage also provides resources and information for families and professionals working with children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.
Free school meals
Each school has its own free school meal arrangements in place to provide for children during coronavirus whilst schools are closed. If you have queries about how to access free school meals provision, please contact your school directly.
If your school is providing you with Free School Meals via the national voucher scheme, please find some FAQs and tips on how to claim and use the voucher in local supermarkets.
We have some under 5s home play resource packs for you to do with your children. To arrange delivery of your packs please call:
020 7938 8400 (Holmfield House)
In addition, we have some useful activity sheets for you to download which we will add to each week with interesting things you can do with your child using items found in the home.
We know you cannot come to us at our children’s centres, so we are bringing sessions into your living room. We are working on uploading a story and a sign and rhyme session weekly and will include more information here shortly.
You can find more home learning tips and activities for under 5s on:
Toddlers mornings at your local library.
School age children
Schools are organising some online learning resource packs and will contact you directly to support your child’s learning. In addition to this, please find below home learning resources for school age children.
Learning at home and cultural activities for 0 – 18 year olds (Mayor of London)
Online learning resources prepared by teachers and parents who normally home-school: these cover a range of topics from maths, geography, science, literature to fun craft activities, cookery and exercises you can enjoy with your kids at home
Online resources for children from your local library
Audible has free access for to stories for children during lockdown:
The museums in London: most have online resources for children
The British Library
All Youth Clubs are developing alternative support offers that young people can access remotely and online, as well as telephone helplines where possible. There are several creative and educational online opportunities for young people to participate in whilst at home.
- The Harrow Club: creative activities for young people in West London and one-to-one confidential and virtual support and advice. Please call 020 8969 2528 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rugby Portobello Trust: virtual homework clubs and junior clubs. Please call 020 7229 2928 or email Susan.LowndesMarques@rpt.org.uk.
- Young Westminster Foundation: a hub of information, advice and online activities for young people and professionals. Feedback from families and members regarding their response to the pandemic has been summarised here.
- Beacon House: creative and cultural activities to keep young people active and busy.
- Latimer Community Art Therapy: online art opportunities for young people, children and their families. Please contact email@example.com for more information
- Dalgarno Neighbourhood Trust: online physical activities such as Zumba, yoga, chair-based exercise classes and mindfulness. Please call 020 8969 6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids on the Green have put together an exciting range of online activities and workshops for young people. Have a look at the programme timetable and get involved, and register for free online workshops by emailing email@example.com or phoning 07763 423060
SPID on the WEB: A new initiative providing online weekly creative activities for young people ages 8-25 to make this lockdown easier, active and fun! This exciting programme runs every Tuesday and Saturday, with our drama workshops taking place on Zoom!
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time and the unexpected loss of a loved one due to coronavirus can be particularly distressing. Please visit the Council’s website for information, guidance and advice on deaths, funerals and bereavement.
The Council have also created leaflets for families, children and young people who are grieving and dealing with loss due to coronavirus:
- Helping you with your feelings when someone close to you dies
There are a number of services available to support families, children and young people in the event of a death of a loved one:
- Child Bereavement UK - supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement
- Cruse: Bereavement Care and Grief Encounter - bereavement support for families, children and young people
- Al-Manaar – bereavement support in Arabic or French
- The Compassion Friends - supporting bereaved parents and their families