Enabling families to be stronger together




Parental feedback Jan to April 2019

Complete Guide –  Stanborough

“Excellent course, very supportive and educational.”

“Very useful Lesley and Francine have been amazing and very supportive. Highly recommend to all parents.”

“A well-structured course, informative and helpful. Impressive how Francine and Lesley were able to adapt teaching to fit individual situations and make everything relevant to the whole group.”

Handling Anger – St Albans

“Managing the emotion of anger I am learning is a process that eventually becomes a journey and eventually becomes a way of being. I am very grateful for the insights, tools and techniques that have been shared by both Francine and Lesley. I have very much appreciated a safe environment you have created in a short time with a very varied group of people. Exceptional skilled facilitators.”

“OMG!! This is the first parenting course I have ever been on and I feel I understand my child more than I did 6 weeks ago, it’s lowered my anxiety a great deal as I understand he can’t help himself and why he gets angry to the point I can now tell his mood by his face expressions.”

“I have appreciated and benefited from the weekly opportunity to reflect upon my responses to my children’s behaviours. There are many things that I already understood ‘in theory’ but was finding hard to put into practice. This course has focussed my mind, given me self-reflection and strength to make some changes in my reactions. I also feel like I’m starting to the reasons and emotions behind the anger/behaviour and see the anxiety underneath. I hadn’t really understood this before and now I’m aware of this I feel more empathetic.”

“I will mainly take away how to better manage my child’s difficulties and anger by using empathy.”

“This course has really made me look at ME and how I react to situations which has an impact on my child. Its made me understand his behaviour is a form of communication and because of that we are able to connect more.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. I have found it very informative and have already started putting into practice many of the strategies I have learnt.”

Handling Anger Summer Term 2018

“I felt quite helpless the beginning , where now i have so much more knowledge about anger and techniques I can use to help my children deal with their anger in an appropriate way. The course has changed how I will parent going forward and will have a big impact on our family life.”

“Thank you I will always be grateful for your help”

“This course has been so useful and great to hear of the experiences of other parents -comforting to know others have similar struggles. Finally we have found some answers which will address my daughters issues”

“The course has helped me to have a better understanding of who my son responds to anger and how to stay calm and focused. My eldest son is like a smouldering BBQ and takes ages to fire up. My youngest is a match to paraffin. I have a much clearer picture of what triggers them now and how they react and best and ways to handle their emotions. I am really grateful for the information and examples and the kindness of the delivery”

Siblings First Summer Term 2018

“The 5 weeks have been brilliant – it has given me confidence and the insight to be a better parent and my son loved it all!”

“Our whole family has benefited hugely and learned ways to share feelings. Words are so powerful and learning new ways to use them to benefit our family is priceless. My child opens up far more now and enjoyed meeting others living in a family like ours.”

“The course has reminded me to think more about my all my children and how to do this in simple ways that are really effective.  My child is sharing more now and we are much closer as a family which is amazing!”

Complete Guide Autumn Term 2017

“I wanted you to know that I am very grateful to you for doing what you do!  Your are brilliant and when I met with my closest friend she thanked me for telling her about Families in Focus.  You are helpful, supportive and empower us (even when we have do have completely different kids).  Meeting you and attending your courses has been super helpful!”

“This has been a fantastic course, the support and also the access to vital information which has been instrumental in getting support, dealing with issues and accessing lots of information.”

“A really useful course – practical tips to help. The opportunity to share, and gain ideas and support and know you are not alone. Good modelling of empathy throughout. Thank you so much I really enjoy your courses and find they help with the day to day ongoing issues. Thank you both for the personal support.”

“What a wonderful course. Thank you for running such an honest course with such helpful information.”

“I have really enjoyed this programme knowing there are others in similar situations is a massive help. Great advice and amazing opportunity to further my journey.”

“Grateful I was made aware of this course I have enjoyed, learnt a lot and met people in similar situations.”

“Been a fantastic course. Really good advice and strategies to put in place. Great support and hope to keep in touch.”

“I have loved this course, thank you very much. The thing that stands out the most for me was learning to be a ‘professional parent’. I have already used it successfully.”

Anger Autumn term 2017

“This has been a very informative course, I would highly recommend it to other parents experiencing anger in their families.”

“Thank you so much Lesley and Francine – your course has been invaluable in giving me the techniques and tools to feel better about myself and also manage anger in our family. I have really enjoyed the course whilst growing in myself.”

Parent Network feedback July 2016

“Parent Network has been a lifeboat for me since I discovered you some months ago and provided me with practical and emotional support like no other. You got me through the hardest of times and helped me keep a family together whilst learning every day. I always recommend you whenever there is an opportunity to do so as I think you provide the best support and are an incredible source of information. I have found no one better! You are an inspiration and make a world of difference – truly.”

“Well Ladies, as you know I came to you as a true last hope, I was, I am now ashamed to say, a ‘non-believer’, however now I realise that I just hadn’t connected with the right people – those being you two. I can quite honestly say that the course my husband and I attended with you both has single handily changed my perspective on training/coaching/group therapy, call it what you will because I now call it bloomin’ marvellous and my moment of clarity, an epiphany if you will. Now I’m not saying that I don’t have dark days, I am only human after all, but having and knowing that even after attending a few sessions, Lesley and Francine really are just on the end of a telephone – really. And more importantly they will help. They have both been there for me and my family giving me guidance and strength to carry on. Through their tried and trusted techniques I have a new toolbox of tricks (as I like to call it) to get us through the good days and those now what do I call them, ah yes, the challenging days. I was able to meet people – yes, there really are others ‘out there’ – and when I had the courage to speak, they got me. Without looks or judgements, or long winded explanations, they just got me and it felt empowering and that’s not left me, and what’s more I don’t want it to. Thank you, truly.”

 “I was recommended to you after my son was excluded from school and I was waiting for a diagnosis. It has been a very tough time for the whole family but your Parent Network has made me realise that there are people out there who really care and offer actual solutions at a time when you literally don’t know what to do or how you’re going to cope. I already feel more empowered to support my son and steer my family through the obstacles that face us! Bring it on! Thankyou!”

“I know I have only been to one session, but it has made such a difference to how I feel about our circumstances and also to some of the ways that I’ve been dealing with my son. You are both so knowledgeable and personally and I really felt like it was an inclusive workshop.”

“You ladies are amazing! It’s so good to know that when you struggling there is someone there who understands. Someone with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings with. It’s about knowing your not alone. I have gained so much knowledge and strength from all whom I’ve met and things I’ve learnt during my time at the Parent Networks. Thank you!”

“One day work place workshop for parents of children with additional needs June 2016:

  • Best seminar I have attended on this subject.  Speakers both engaging and knowledgeable and have lived through it.
  • Excellent and useful balance between practical and theory
  • Great session and very glad of the opportunity 
  • Great session, well-paced, informative and caring.  Gave people the time and space to share their experiences
  • I really found this useful and I feel I learnt a lot”

Parent April 2016

“Families in Focus, Lesley and Francine offer a rare and wonderous thing, kindness, true non – judgemental acceptance and they are compassioante about what they do. I still follow the techniques taught daily after 2 years of going on one of their courses and our family life is so much richer and calmer”     

Parent December 2015

“Having completed your course ” managing the behaviours of teenagers through to adulthood” today….I just wanted to say this is again another fantastic course! You lovely ladies managed to make a scary time seem less daunting. Your wealth of knowledge and experience is phenomenal. I have come away with a greater understanding of what is making my son tick now he is a teenager, and I feel more prepared for what life throws our way. THANK YOU!”  

Children Centre manager 2015 

“Parents always come out of Families in Focus courses vibrant and full of enthusiasm. The feedback is wonderful and parents make lasting changes that continue long after the course finishes.” 

Parent July 2015

“The How to talk to your children course has simply blown me away and I am using the techniques with great results.”

Parent March 2016

“The Complete guide to parenting children with additional needs has been hugley helpful for our whole family, the techniques taught have made massive impact and I use them every day. Things felt dauting but now I feel empwered and so much more positive- thank you”   

Brilliant course Complete guide to parenting children with additional needs been inspiring and really enjoyed it. Our family life is hectic but each session I was able to take away key points and have been able to put things into practise so whole family has improved “ 

” I’m feeling grateful for meeting both of you and for attending such a fabulous course so much still needs to sink in, but I’m feeling informed and empowered and richer too due to learning about DLA which we were awarded last week! thank you so much for everything ”

” Having a child with additional needs is daunting and often you are at a loss as to what to do, the Complete guide to parenting children with additional needs course helped me in so many ways and has changed our family in such positive ways and I am much more confident in dealing with things and highly recommend this course. I met some lovely people now friends and we will be meeting up in the Parent Network! ”

Siblings – a parents guide to understand those living with brothers sisters with additional needs April – May 2015 

“Fantastic course Francine and Lesley are great trainers and I really enjoyed the course and learned so much about siblings and how to really help them.”

“The chance to share experiences and ideas with those in similar situations is invaluable and to hear such expert advice from Francine & Lesley is such a help – you talk so much sense!!! You gave me the confidence to try new techniques and the belief that they will work and they do!! It has been such an uplifting experience.”

“As family we are talking about our lives now more openly and everyone is now so much happier.”

“I am so grateful for all your help and  I now understand how sibling can feel and forever grateful as by understanding him I can help him – thank you.”

Complete Guide to parenting children with additional needs December 2014

“Finally I have attended the right type of parenting programme. This has really helped me and my situation.”

“This has been such an amazing course and so glad I did it and I think it is vital for all parents of special needs children . I have gained so much knowledge, understanding tips and ideas and enjoyed sharing with other parents and feel much more confident as a result.  Lesley and Francine really do understand and have “lived it.”

Parent Handling anger in your family  March 2015

“Francine and Lesley are truly amazing and I have learned so much from there courses and the way they work and the manner in which they offer information, help, support and guidance is wonderful. Feel really lucky to of got a place on their course.”     

Jan Crook, DSPL 9

“I have had the pleasure of working with Families In Focus on a number of occasions. Lesley and Francine are lovely ladies with a wealth of experience and expertise enabling them to support families who have a child with additional needs, some of which have been quite complex. The empathy shown to the families, laced with practical support, produces a tangible service, the effects of which are evident in the parents growing confidence and diminishing anxiety.”

“I would not hesitate to refer parents to the FIF Programmes in the knowledge that it would prove to be a valuable, positive and life-changing experience.”

Special needs health visitor in Hertfordshire

“I always recommend Families in Focus CIC courses to families I work with. Parents tell me what a difference it makes to parenting children with special needs and they always have a positive experience and Francine and Lesley really do know what they are talking about.”

Parent Complete Guide to parenting children with additional needs March 2015 

Families in Focus courses with Lesley and Francine are just brilliant! Great programmes, well researched, effective and simple tips to do at home and learned loads and made me a far better parent to my children.” 

Helena Marks, SEND IASS Adviser, Childhood Support Services

 “Having worked for many years supporting parents of children with special needs and disabilities, Families in Focus are an organisation I have no reservations in recommending to parents.  The quality of the workshops and courses they offer to parents is excellent and they have always recognized the issues faced by parents and offered practical support and tools for parents that in my experience have been extremely well received by those who have attended them.  Families in Focus readily acknowledge and understand the needs of the parents in both practical and emotional terms and their courses and workshops are delivered in a way that encourages parents to feel valued and a part of the process as opposed to ‘done to’.  Those involved in delivering this training have a wealth of experience both professionally and personally that they are able to use to provide an excellent service to parents.  They are always non-judgemental and able to gear their work to the specific needs of the parents rather than be driven totally by service delivery demands. I have heard very positive feedback from parents after attending their workshops on many occasions and we have been able to work very positively inter-professionally in terms of the families that we mutually work with.”

Dr. Amanda Gummer, FUNdamentals

 “I have been aware of the work of Families in Focus for over 5 years now, and have worked with them on more than one occasion. I am delighted that Lesley and Francine have invited me to become a Director and the Parent-Centred Parenting (PCP) approach is being adopted by such a forward-thinking organisation.”

Parent comments from “Handling anger in your family” course April 2016

“This was a fantastic course and I really gained a lot of knowledge and awareness about anger and good parenting skills. Loved the relaxed atmosphere and openness within the group. Great biscuits and coffee!”

 “The facilitators, Lesley and Francine were fantastic. Excellent sense of humour, great stories, advice, knowledge and approachability. Very useful insight and tools – superb course.”

 “Thanks a lot for all the control of the course! Everything has helped greatly to develop strategies with my youngest. I also found that more than dealing with my children I needed to deal with my own anger first, which made a massive change in dealing with my children.”

 “I have really enjoyed my time on the programme. I have learnt many things which I hope to use in the future.”

 “Absolutely fantastic course – thoroughly recommend it. I have learnt so many things to enable a calmer and happier family environment. It will enable me to be a better parent (and wife!).”

This poem written by a parent to reflect her feelings after attending  Complete Guide to parenting children with Additional Needs:


The room radiates warmth
Partly body heat, but
Mostly a wave of
Human emotion
At its rawest,
But also kindest,
Most sensitive and
To feel and to know
That I am not alone
In my difficult path
An almost indescribable
Sense of
Calm, Happiness
All experiences that, at times
I had believed
Would never
Be mine again.

To see if there is a FREE Parent training course running in your area, check our current available course

To commission Families in Focus CiC to run a course for your organisation, please contact us.






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