Children and families

We provide support and advice services for children and young people, and their families and carers, including adoption and fostering services and support groups.


Children’s action plan

View refreshed children’s action plan 2023 (PDF 1.9mb).

If you’re worried about a child or young person

If you’re worried about a child or young person living in Hackney, you can contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)  for advice and guidance.


Some children in Hackney can’t stay with their birth families and therefore require another permanent option, adoption being one of these. If you think you would like to adopt and have the time, patience and space in your home, and in your heart for a child, then we would like to hear from you.


Fostering can really change lives for the better. It can bring security and confidence, teach new skills and uncover potential. And that’s just the carers. Why not use your potential to help a child realise theirs?


Caring for children can be a difficult task at the best of times. We’re committed to providing the best possible care for children and young people wherever possible.

See childcare, family support and children’s centres.

See child employment and performance licences.

Free early years education for some two year olds

If you earn less than £16,190, or you’re on benefits, you may be able to get 15 hours free childcare for your two-year old.

Hospice care

Hospice care for children provide respite and terminal care for children suffering from life-limiting conditions in a home-from-home environment. Care is provided for the child and their family at no cost to them for as long as is necessary, including post bereavement support. In Hackney, hospice care for children, including referrals, is organised through health services often using Richard House Hospice.

Looked after children

Children are mainly looked after if there are serious concerns for their welfare and cannot live with their birth families.

See looked after children.

Children social care complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received, with a member of staff, or with some other aspect of our work, please let us know.

See children social care complaints.

Leaving care local offer

Advice and support available for young people leaving care in Hackney.

City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP)

The CHSCP is the key statutory body for agreeing how organisations co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in City and Hackney, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.

Children with SEN, disabilities or additional needs

Visit Hackney Local Offer for services available to children and young people aged 0-25 with SEN, disabilities or additional needs.

Supported lodgings

Supported lodgings offer young people (aged 16-21) an alternative to fostering when they are unable to remain with their birth families.

Living in support lodgings will be an important step towards independent living for the young people. The host will be a crucial person in the young person’s life being close enough to offer support, but encourage the young person to do as much as possible on their own.

Support for families

Our family support units offer targeted support to families with children to help them address a range of issues.

Hackney child wellbeing framework

View Hackney child wellbeing framework (PDF 523kb).

The wellbeing framework outlines concerns that professionals may have regarding a child or young person and what level of service(s) would be appropriate and best meet their needs.

Think family process and action record

Hackney is committed to a whole family approach, in which all services working with a child or other family members work effectively in partnership to identify potential short and long term risks and vulnerabilities and ensure a coordinated and integrated approach. Our whole family approach focuses on prevention and early intervention to secure the best long term outcomes for children, young people and adult family members.

This process and action record has been developed to support all those who have front-line contact with service users. It is designed to improve identification, signposting and referrals of families and individuals who need additional support. It will help you to be aware of the needs and vulnerabilities of other family members and to feel confident taking decisions about how to act.

View think family flowchart and form (PDF 91kb).

The children’s rights service

Our children’s rights service assists children and young people who are supported by, or have been supported by, our children’s social care team. The service is independent and can help make your voice heard, represent your wishes and provide information about your rights.

The children’s rights service also supports young people who have been reported missing by their parents or carers, especially by helping you to stay safe and addressing problems you may be having.

The children’s rights service can be contacted by email at or you can call 020 8356 2444

If your emergency is outside of office hours you can call the emergency duty team on 020 8356 2710.

View information on our children’s rights service (PDF 8mb).

Advice for young people

The Hackney careers service offers an out of school drop-in service for young people aged between 13 and 19 (up to 25 years old if with special educational needs). Careers advisers can provide advice on what to study and careers or training opportunities.

Young Hackney

Young Hackney helps young people aged 6-19 enjoy their youth and become independent and successful adults with activities across the borough, and advice and support on subjects like education, employment, housing and health.

Anti-racist praxis conference

In May 2022, Hackney Children and Education held a groundbreaking Anti-racist praxis conference.

This is part of our ongoing commitment to become an anti-racist service.

The four day, hybrid event created a space where staff and guests could discuss and plan strategies.

To unmask, repair and prevent the hidden wounds of racial trauma on Black and global majority ethnic children and families in Hackney.

The evaluation of the event is now available:

View Anti racist praxis conference briefing paper (PDF 4.1mb).

Page updated on: 4 January 2024

Hackney Children and Families Service


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY

Opening times

  • 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday - except bank holidays