Referral Partners

Hurdle is currently funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and other charitable grants/donations. This essential funding enables provision for us to support 40-50 families per annum.

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Referrers to Hurdle can include:

We also accept self-referrals from parents.

How can I refer?

Coventry Local Authority Social Workers:

Hurdle contacts the LAC and Permanency Team to inform of  our upcoming availability. You will be informed by the Team Managers when there are available spaces for you to put forward a family for a referral. There is a short referral form for you to complete. 

Other Professionals: 

Please contact Hurdle for a case consultation to discuss the parent/s you would like to put forward for a referral. 

If the referral is considered viable, Hurdle will contact the Local Authority social worker to complete a referral form for the family to be put forward for our next round of availability. 

Please ensure you have the permission of the parent prior to contacting us, and know the name of the family social worker either currently working with the family, or most recently, as we cannot proceed to next steps without this information. 

To make a referral to Hurdle, see Making a Referral

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Guidance for professionals referring into Hurdle:

Hurdle is entirely voluntary and service-user led. Any referral must first be discussed with the parent and their consent gained for the referral to be made.

The support/interventions we offer are based on the family’s wishes.

Our service is confidential. We do not provide written reports, but can update on work completed and engagement with parental consent. 

In the event there are any specific cases that would benefit from Hurdle’s support and/or services that do not meet our criteria, consideration can be made for our services to be offered as a buy-in service upon consultation. Any buy-in services must be under the proviso that this is a voluntary agreement with parents and with their consent.


Hurdle has been designed to tackle the issues raised within the 2017 report Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings by Professor Karen Broadhurst et al, which highlights “the problem with no name”, referring to families who have been subject to cyclical removals, with little to no support.

The focus of our services are parents (the majority women, but also a significant number of men) with multiple complex needs who are at risk of experiencing multiple removals of their children into the care system.

In summary, these are typically people already living a chaotic life and battling a range of difficult circumstances, including one or (typically) more of: difficult childhoods (often in care); mental health issues; substance abuse; poor education & employment opportunities; poverty; housing insecurity; and isolation.

It is in this context that they have found the many challenges associated with parenting just one hurdle too many.

At the conclusion of the custody hearing, regardless of whether the child has been taken into care or left with the parents, there is little effective support available to those parents. While many individual services are available (such as those for mental health, substance addiction or social engagement), individuals would have to put together their own package to support their own multiple needs. Unfortunately, these are people whose contacts, trust and ability to engage with existing services is poor.

Hurdle has been designed to address the gaps in provision identified in this research. You can read more here about Hurdle and the services we run.

Making a Referral

You can either apply to Hurdle yourself, or be referred by an organisation, charity or care professional.

If you wish to refer an individual to Hurdle, you can email, call 02476 502 800 or fill in our support form to provide initial details, including the best way for us to contact you (by email or phone, and at what times).

Once we have received your request we will then email initial referral.

Please note that parent’s wishing to refer themselves to Hurdle for support should see details on the Parents page of this website.

Hurdle is run by Dudley Lodge, a UK registered charity and one of the leading Family Assessment Centres in England and Wales.

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Support Form

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Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund