At Children 1st, our ambition is for every child in Scotland to be safe, loved and well with their family.
As a charity we offer emotional, practical, and financial support to help families to put children first and campaign to uphold the rights of every child.
We support the whole family when they need it, for as long as they need it. We offer help to prevent families reaching crisis point, to keep children safe and to support children and families to recover from trauma and harm.
Our work is founded on the understanding that children do well when families do well. The practical, emotional and financial support we offer is more than a lifeline, it is the support that children and families need to overcome the challenges they face today to enjoy a happier, more secure tomorrow.
And today, children and families are facing an unprecedented level of challenge, trauma and change. The cost-of-living crisis, ongoing political uncertainty and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic are having a profound impact on children, families and the organisations and services that are there to support them.
Support families to keep children safe.
Protect and fulfil all children’s rights in legislation, policy and practice.
Help children, their parents and carers to recover from the impact of childhood trauma and abuse.
What we do
The way we work is rooted in knowing that strong, safe relationships are what prevent and protect children from harm and enable them to recover from trauma and abuse.
We give hands on support and help to children and families across Scotland:
- From moments of crisis to everyday parenting challenges, through Children 1st Parentline, we provide a helpline, web chat service and a website full of helpful guidance and advice to help support families.
- Our area teams work alongside children and families by offering practical, emotional and financial support to help them overcome the challenges that get in the way of strong, safe relationships. Find your nearest Children 1st area team.
- We provide a money advice service where we will listen, help you make sense of your finances and offer practical solutions to reduce your money worries.
- In partnership with sportscotland, we provide Scotland’s Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport service which ensures children and young people stay safe and have fun while taking part in sport.
- On behalf of the Scottish Government, we manage and operate Scotland’s national Safeguarders Panel.
- Through Bide Oot, we offer children and families we work with the opportunity to try new skills, sports and activities together during a residential weekend at an outdoor education centre in a remote area of Scotland.
- We are developing Scotland’s first Bairns Hoose – a single location alternative to courts, social work offices and police stations, allowing each young person to feel safe and supported, and able to recover and thrive.
- We are the driving force in delivering Family Group Decision Making in Scotland - a rights-based approach that empowers children and families to have a voice and to be involved in decisions that affect them.
We can’t do all this alone. It is your support that enables us to keep children save, loved and well. Find out how you can get involved:
- Find out about fundraising opportunities and ways to raise money for Children 1st.
- Search for a fundraising event.
- Learn more about how your business and employees can make a lasting impact for children.
- Read about how major gifts can make a significant difference to the children and families we work with.
- Leave a gift to Children 1st in your will.
- Learn about our book gifting programme in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
The way we do things
Relationships are at the heart of everything we do. We believe in the innate capacity, strength and resilience of the human spirit to respond to connection, and to overcome challenges and thrive through supportive and trusting relationships.
We are courageous
- Standing with children to protect their rights
- Challenging others to do the same
- Working inclusively to develop support with all communities
- Being real and doing the right thing
We are making things happen
- Being clear, straightforward and practical
- Working in partnership with others
- Being agile and responsive
We are compassionate
- Connecting and empathising
- Listening so that we can understand
- Doing with, not to or for
- Respecting and treating people with dignity
- Believing in the capacity of people and communities to address their own challenges
We are leading
- Spreading our learning, skills and expertise
- Sharing, innovating and partnering
- Informed by the latest evidence
- Improving the quality of everything we do
- Being agile and responsive