Frontline Families

Who we are and what we do

Frontline Families is a partnership of organisations who work with families of disabled children and adults who have a range of support needs. It has been formed to provide high quality and responsive support to families during the pandemic. Helped by some short term emergency funding from The Department of Health and Social Care, Front Line Families is able to offer a range of initiatives that are specifically designed to meet the needs of this community of families who have been particularly hard hit by the restrictions in place over these difficult months.

For information about what we have done, the impact it has had, and the future of Frontline Families, read our Programme summary and impact report (October 2020).

In alphabetical order, the partnership is made up of the following organisations, please click the name or logo to see what they are offering. 

Bringing Us Together brings families together to share stories, regular Zoom chats support one another and to keep families updated with information and resources.  We have active Facebook pages and a wide social media reach.  We are also the co-founders of the Bloody Awesome Parent Awards.  

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) is the only UK charity specifically focussed on the needs of children, young people and adults with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges, and their families. We are making a difference to the lives of people with severe learning disabilities and their families by:

  • Championing their rights
  • Ensuring timely information and support
  • Raising awareness and understanding  
  • Promoting and sharing best practice
Newbold Hopealso known as The SEND VCB Project, works with the families of children with any disability or additional need who, due to extremely high levels of anxiety, are also sometimes physically violent towards other people due to anxiety. We also work with the professional staff who support this group of children and their families.  It was started by Yvonne Newbold in 2017, and offers practical suggestions of strategies, along with help and emotional support in many ways. 



As part of Frontline Families, Bringing Us Together is holding fortnightly Zoom Room Chats to bring family members together who have:

  • Young people and adults in Assessment and Treatment Units with learning disabilities and or autism
  • Young people and adults in residential placements including supported living with learning disabilities and autism

The next meeting will be Monday 14th December 2020 7.30PM - 9.30PM, when we will have a 'Survive and Thrive' Well Being session as we head towards Xmas festivities. Come and join us with a glass of mulled wine! Contact to join. 

Eligibility -these chats are open to any family who has an older or adult child or family member who has learning disabilities and/or autism, who is living away from home in an ATU (Assessment and Treatment Centre), or in a Residential Care Home or in Supported Living.

These chats will offer peer support, build networks, overcome isolation and will be a safe place for family members to share experiences about what is working and what is not working. We will signpost family members who may need more intensive support to the organisations we are working closely with. We will be writing monthly reports as part of this project and feeding any themes and issues that come out of the Zoom Rooms into our strategic work.

Stronger Together is a project established by Bringing Us Together to involve families with children, young people and adults who have experience of in-patient services and residential placements. 

Since 2016 they have been bringing families together to share their stories, and to work strategically to raise awareness on common themes experienced by families and their loved ones. They have held a range of residential events, focus groups, and events with NHS England and Care Quality Commission representatives, and written reports that they have published.

They have an expert team of parents with lived experience who have designed and written their own Survival Guides for other parents, as well as some useful resources to be shared. 

Parents have gone on to work as Experts by Experience in Care and Treatment Reviews and for NHS England, some have paid employment roles in the field, others have campaigned locally and nationally, and some are delivering training across the country as well as bringing their own children home back into the community. They are truly Bloody Awesome Parents.

For more information on how to join our Facebook group or join our new Frontline Families Zoom Room Chats held fortnightly on Monday nights please contact: 

To join our Facebook group go to:

Stronger Together - Making a Difference – Private Facebook Group   

Bringing Us Together – Open  Page 

Bringing Us Together – our members sharing private group

Or you can find us on: Twitter



As part of Frontline Families, The CBF is able to provide several different types of help and support, as follows:

1. Our Family Support line is for families whose relative has a severe learning disability, providing information, support and case work. We have been able to increase capacity in order to meet increased need during the pandemic. For more information please get in touch via email on, or by telephone on 0300 666 0126.

Eligibility Any family member of an adult or a child who has a severe learning disability who displays behaviour that challenges is welcome to use this service

2. Our Family Carers’ Email Network puts families in touch with others to share experiences and suggestions, and we have been able to  increase capacity to meet the current increased need. Please apply to join the Network here or email us at

Eligibility Any family member of an adult or a child who has a severe learning disability who displays behaviour that challenges is welcome to use this service

3. Covid-19 resourceswe have developed a number of new information sheets which you can find on our newly developed Covid page here.

Topics covered on this page include - 

Managing behaviour Spitting
Handwashing Schools re-opening
Temperature taking Learning disability nurses
Facemasks Legal FAQs

We have also put our challenging behaviour DVDs online and we have developed a “going out” card. We are currently working on further information sheets and videos.

Eligibility Anyone can access this information, and they may be particularly helpful for anyone who has a family member of any age and any disability, diagnosis, or condition.

 4. Carer Catch-ups- are informal chat groups with other families of children or adults with severe learning disabilities. The virtual catch-ups are hosted by CBF local champions, who are family carer volunteers who usually attend events such as conferences, to speak or host a stall of CBF resources. This is still under development, so to hear more, family carers can join the Family Carers’ Email Network (above).

Eligibility If you have a child or adult family member with a severe learning disability who displays behaviour that challenges you would be welcome to join us

5. CBF Behaviour Chat- this new online chat aims to help with urgent/crisis behaviour at home.  Families can share their “right here, right now” concerns about challenging behaviour with a small group including other family carers and experts. For more information and to apply to join email us at:

Eligibility If you have a child or adult family member who has a severe learning disability who displays behaviour that challenges, you are welcome to join these chats

6. Legal panel enquiries, this is a group of lawyers we have brought together to answer legal questions. In response to the increased need due to the pandemic, we have arranged more frequent meetings, and access to all Covid-19 Government Guidance. We can refer families to this service through our Family Support line (please see above).

Eligibility by referral through our family support line

7.  Printed newsletter containing specific information useful during the pandemic and aimed in particular at those who do not have online access. This is a printed version in addition to our usual online newsletter. Families can sign up to the newsletter by phoning 01634 838739, or here.

Eligibility for anyone with a family member who has a severe learning disability who displays behaviour that challenges, who would find it harder to access our newsletter online


 See our Online Support page to find out more.



Newbold Hope offer:

1.  Social Media – we are in touch with over 40,000 SEND families through our Facebook groups and pages and on Twitter as follows:

Private Facebook Groups:

For families of SEND children with Violent and Challenging Behaviour (VCB) 

For Dads and other close male relatives of SEND children with VCB 

For professionals and other staff who work with this group of children and their families

Public Facebook Pages:

Sharing information about SEND VCB and related topics 

Sharing more general disability information 

Or follow Yvonne on Twitter - @YvonneNewbold

Eligibility the public pages are open to all and anyone is very welcome to visit them. All three of our groups have very specific membership. One is for family members who have a child under the age of 18 with any form of disability or diagnosable condition who is also physically violent to other people, another group is only open to male family members, and the third group is open to professionals and front-line staff who work with this group of children

2. Written and Video Resources: there are a number of resources to support parents and staff in helping SEND children to move beyond their violent episodes which you can access through here.

Eligibility open to everyone

3.  Training workshops and webinars for parents and professionals covering a range of issues related to SEND VCB and other anxiety-led forms of challenging behaviour, with a focus on sharing the skills and the confidence to be able to work with a child to reduce their violent episodes

Eligibility Particularly helpful for any family member, professional or frontline staff member who cares for a child or an adult with a disability or diagnosable condition who also has any form of anxiety-led difficult behaviour

4. Campaigning at a national level to influence Government policy, through Yvonne being a member of The NHS Assembly, an advisor to NHSE&I on Learning Disabilities and Autism, and speaking at conferences. Soon to be published is our “Behind Closed Doors” research study, carried out in collaboration with Northumbria University, which will look at how appropriately the statutory services, such as healthcare, education and social services respond to the impact of SEND violence on family life. 

5. In development, more formal online training for parents and professionals, books on different aspects of SEND childhood violence, and a club to support parents while they are addressing their child’s behaviours.

Eligibility open to all


As part of Frontline Families, Newbold Hope will design and deliver five webinars on consecutive Tuesday evenings at 8pm starting on 11th August at a nominal cost of £2.50 for each webinar, although there will be some free places available for families facing financial hardship. Any parent who is currently struggling with their SEND child’s challenging behaviour is welcome to take part; your child does not have to be violent towards others to qualify for a place.  The webinar topics covered:

Thursday, 8th October 2020

How to help a demand avoidant child cope better with life

To book -


Tuesday, 13th October 2020

Additional needs the teenage years & how to navigate extreme behaviour

                To book -

Eligibility Particularly helpful for any family member who cares for a child or an adult with a disability or diagnosable condition who also has any form of anxiety-led difficult behaviour

At the end of the webinars, we will be producing an evaluation report which will look at feedback and any identified outcomes.


Our Logo: Frontline Families would like to thank Freddie Goldsmid, who is a 15-year-old incredibly talented autistic young man, who designed our vibrant, fun and funky logo for us. He entered a competition to find a great logo design for our partnership which we ran on a private Facebook group for SEND families. Everyone else who took part was an adult, but Freddie’s talent, despite his age, won through. Thank you, Freddie.


©Frontline Families



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