Families come in all shapes and sizes and change over time. 

Whatever kind of family you live in, there’ll be good and bad times. If you can talk, negotiate and try to be reasonable, which isn’t always easy in the middle of a major row, there’s usually a solution that everyone can live with.

Dealing with change

Changes that happen in your family will hardly ever be your fault. Don’t blame yourself – you are living with other people’s decisions which can change your life.

Family not around

You may have family members who aren’t always there for a variety of reasons: perhaps they work away from home a lot, or they’re in prison, or they live in another country. You’ll all probably be missing whoever’s not there, so try to keep in contact if you can. Send a card or letter or keep in touch by phone or on the internet.

Divorce and separation

Your parents might split up and you might feel that your life will never be the same again. This is a time when sometimes people go a bit wild, or get very angry. It's quite a natural reaction, but try not to let it get out of hand.

Step families

For some people having new family members around goes great, for others it's hard to cope with. It can be difficult all round so try hard not to make it worse, but ask to keep your own space and your own routines if you can.

Living with a friend or relative

If you live with someone who is not a close relative, you might be living in something called a private fostering arrangement.

If you think you are, we have some information about private fostering you should read.

Adoptive families

If you have been adopted into a new family it may not always be easy and there may be times that you or your parents have questions or feelings that you need some help with. If you need help, you can speak to a post adoption support worker.  They can help you understand and answer questions about being adopted and talk to you about contact with your birth family.

More information and advice

If you want to know more about how to cope with family relationship problems go to:

  • childline - help with family relationships
  • relate - help with family life


If you would like help, get in touch with us for confidential information, advice and support.

Family group conferences

If you are having problems with your family we may offer the opportunity to attend a family group conference. A family group conference is a meeting for you, your family and sometimes family friends. The meeting will give you the chance to have your say and come up with ideas about how the family can improve things for you.

For further information contact the Family Group Conference Service:

Phone - 01695 651265

Email - FGCservice@lancashire.gov.uk