Skip to content

Surgery Door
Search our Site
Tip: Try using OR to broaden your
search e.g: Cartilage or joints
.

Local authority services

Social services departments

Your social services department (in your phone book under the name of your local authority) can give you information about most services for parents and children – day nurseries, childminders, playgroups, opportunity groups (which include children with special needs), family centres, and so on. Many local authorities produce booklets listing local services for families with under-fives. Ask at your local library, social services department, citizens advice bureau or other advice centre.

Social workers

Social workers are usually found in social services departments. Their job is to provide support for people in need in their area who are having difficulty coping, financially or practically. A social worker may be able to get your child a nursery place, help you find better housing, or give you information about your rights.

To contact a social worker, phone your local social services department. Or ask your health visitor to put you in touch.

Housing departments

The housing department (in your phone book under the name of your local authority) is responsible for all council housing in your area and will run the council housing waiting list.

The housing department has a legal duty to house people in certain priority groups who are homeless (or are soon going to be) through no fault of their own. Priority groups include pregnant women and parents of children under 16.

Through your housing department you should also be able to find out about local housing associations, which also provide housing for rent.

Education departments

Your education department (in your phone book under the name of your local authority) is responsible for all the State-run nursery schools, nursery classes and infant schools in your area and can give you information about them.

The education department also has a responsibility to assess children with special needs and provide suitable education for them.


We are indebted to Health Promotion England for their help in compiling this section.