Referral Partners

Hurdle takes referrals from, and works alongside, a wide range of public, private and charitable organisations involved with parents who are at risk of multiple removals of their children into the care system.

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Referrers to Hurdle can include:

We also accept self-referrals from parents.

Who can you refer?

We welcome referrals from any organisation or professional working with one or more parents who they believe would benefit from our programmes. 

Potential Hurdle clients are likely to be:

A major motivation for parents engaging with Hurdle service is likely to be the desire to either keep or regain custody of their existing children, and to be allowed to keep any future children.

To make a referral to Hurdle, see Making a Referral

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Why make a referral to Hurdle?

Hurdle is a free service which has been designed to complement and support the work of referring professionals and organisations.

The benefits for referring organisations and professionals can include:

Hurdle also welcomes partnership working to help reach and support as many service users as possible. This can be done through joint bids for funding, and/or reciprocal referrals between services where there is a shared service user group.


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