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Support for Families


Support for parents

Looking after children can feel difficult and unrewarding at times. If you are feeling stressed out by the demands of looking after your children, there are a number of different places that you can seek help:

If you feel that you may be in danger of harming your child or yourself, call your GP or NHS24 on 0845 4 24 24 24.

Or speak to the Samaritans on08457 90 90 90or contact Breathing Space 6pm – 2am (Monday to Thursday) 6pm – 6am at weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) on 0800 83 85 87

You can speak to all of these services in confidence about anything that is troubling you.

If you just need someone to talk to, call freephone Family Lives on 0808 800 2222 or email them at familylives

And of course Signpost staff are here to listen – call 01506 431 123 (office hours). Why not follow the link below for proven stress reducers and handy tips

There are a number of local groups, listed on our parent group factsheet, at which you can meet other parents in an informal, friendly setting and have a chat and a cup of coffee.

Local organisations Home Start and Sure Start support families who include at least one child under 5 (not necessarily disabled ) and who are under pressure – ask Signpost to refer you to them, or contact them directly yourself.

CarersNet, Edinburgh & Lothian is a website managed by VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian) has useful publications about  caring and information about their counselling service here.

Counselling Directory

This online directory lists accredited counsellors who deal with a variety of issues.  You can search for local counsellors, or ones who specialise in a particular condition e.g. anxiety or addiction.  Note, that counsellors charge for their services.  Guidance about how to select a counsellor who may meet your needs can be found on the webpage.

Brighter Days – ‘Helping families live with ADHD’ – is a support group for families and carers living with ADHD. It’s a group of people who either have ADHD children or who have ADHD themselves.   Further details can be found on their    

Parents Together West Lothian –The support group is for parents /carers/ guardians/grandparents of children with ANY DISABILITY.
The group is very informal, but is a great opportunity to get together over a coffee and share experiences and knowledge of all aspects of caring for children with disabilities. It’s also a good way to meet other parents and develop a social circle and hopefully some good friendships for the parents and… their children.
E-mail –   Search on Facebook: groups, parents together west lothian

The Parenting West Lothian

The Parenting West Lothian website has usefuladvice divided into age groups, plus a page of useful links to toher parent friendly websites. to go to the website just click on the link parenting west lothian

Parent Network Scotland runs courses on parenting skills. See their website here, or call 0141 948 0022 for more details.

One Parent Families Scotland  Their aim is to encourage and enable parents across Scotland to make the most of the opportunities available to them so they can flourish as happy, healthy and achieving families. Visit their website for more information.

Signpost knows of some parents who are willing to speak to other parents about their experiences on a one-to-one basis – please call us to see if we can match you with a parent.

A useful website for helping you to deal with your emotions, Living Life To The Full has exercises which you can perform at your own pace to help you cope with however you are feeling.

Signpost has a library which has books written by parents about their experiences, with both practical advice and emotional insights. See our library page for more information.

Support for other family members

Anyone connected with a young person with additional needs is welcome to contact Signpost for a chat, whether they are a parent, grand-parent, friend or professional working with the family.

If a child with additional needs requires support, some organisations which deal with specific conditions have information for children. Contact a Family also holds a register of support groups, and may be able to help.

Our library has factual and story books for siblings which can be borrowed -see our library page for more details. Contact a Family also has a downloadable siblings fact-sheet which has a list of resources.

We have a booklet for small children called ‘My Brother or Sister has Special Needs’, which you can download from the link below, or call us for a copy.

My Brother or Sister has Special Needs

We have a booklet for friends and family called ‘A Child I Know has Special Needs – How Can I Help?’ – call us to request a copy.

Carers of West Lothian has a Young Carers Group, for which siblings may be eligible. Contact them on 01506 448000 for more information. Young carers can also contact one another on the  young carers’ website.

Grandparents can find a fact-sheet at Contact a Family website.

There are many more resources than we can list here. If you would like us to research information to meet your particular needs, contact us.

Support for young people

Young people can call Childline on 0800 1111. Calls are free (they don’t show up on a phone bill) and confidential.

For young men in particular (but also available to young women!) Breathing Space Scotland can offer a listening ear and has a ‘self-help tool-kit’.

See our web-page for young people for more ideas.