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About Children's Services

We want to help Hertfordshire's children achieve the best possible levels of education and development.

We place the interests of children firmly at the centre of everything we do, working with families to offer quality advice, support and guidance; build children's confidence and self-esteem and prepare them for life ahead.

Here are a few examples of the services we provide:

School admissions

We co-ordinate the offer of school places for nursery, primary and secondary schools across the county.

Childhood Support Services

Childhood Support Services aims to improve the quality of life for children, families and communities through:

  • improving and increasing the levels of childcare provision
  • free early education for two, three and four year olds
  • parenting support
  • children's centres.

To find out more about the services available in your community contact the Family Information Service on 0300 123 4052.

Financial assistance

If you are a Hertfordshire resident on a low income and your child is in full-time education, we may be able to help you with the cost of school expenses. To find out what help is available and how to apply, click on the financial help link on this page.

Support for the family

If you are experiencing difficulties in meeting your child's emotional, social or physical needs, please contact us. If you have a disabled child, we may be able to provide services to help, including direct payments.

Children with special needs

A child has special needs if he or she has greater difficulty learning than most other children of the same age. If you have any concerns about your child's progress, there are people who can help.

Family support services

This service provides support to families to help them through difficult times by offering time, practical advice and/or counselling.

Emotional health and wellbeing

If you have a child with behavioural or emotional issues, talk to your GP in the first instance. The GP will work with you and can contact other agencies for more specialist support. Some schools have their own school-based counsellor who provides a voluntary and confidential service.

Fostering and adoption

Every month around 40 Hertfordshire children come into our care because they cannot stay with their own families. When this happens, we make arrangements for the child to be fostered, sometimes with relatives or family friends, or adopted. If you are interested in fostering or adopting a child, please contact us on Freephone 0800 917 0925.

Residential care for children and young people

Hertfordshire County Council's Children's Services has residential homes for adolescents, younger children and disabled children. The young people in our care have a range of complex needs and many need help in making sense of traumatic events in their past. We seek to provide them with good adult role models and help them have happy and secure relationships, which will help guide them into a happier adulthood. Some children who are severely disabled may be placed in residential care because their families cannot provide the specialist care or support they need.

Child protection

Children's Services has a lead role in the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB). The HSCB has statutory responsibility to coordinate the work across all agencies to ensure that children are effectively safeguarded from abuse and significant harm.
If you are at all concerned that a child is being abused, please contact us on 0300 123 4043, the police or the NSPCC and tell them about your concerns. Please act promptly if you are worried.

Services for young people

When a disabled young person needs continued care and support we work closely with our colleagues in Health and Community Services and Youth Connexions to ensure a smooth transition. Youth Connexions provides advice, support, guidance and activities for 13-19-year-olds. Our Education Support Centres provide alternative education for young people who are not in school.

Schools in Hertfordshire

We have over 500 schools in Hertfordshire. Schools are supported by a team of educational experts who provide training and support linked to national initiatives.